Types of Compensation
Fighting for Injured Workers Across Delaware
Most employees who have been injured in work-related accidents, or who have been diagnosed with an occupational illness, are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance to compensate their employees for work-related injuries and illnesses, regardless of fault.
In exchange for the right to claim Workers’ Compensation benefits, an employee waives their right to file a lawsuit against their employer, at least in most situations.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Delaware law enables injured workers to collect a broad spectrum of benefits for on-the-job accidents or occupational health conditions, including:
Medical benefits. Employers are legally required to pay all medical costs associated with a work-related injury. Even if you have health insurance, the Workers’ Compensation system is likely a more complete form of coverage, including covering the cost of copays. Injured workers are entitled to compensation for surgeries, doctor visits, prescriptions, medical equipment, lab tests, x-rays, MRIs, orthopedic appliances, prostheses, and more.
If you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease (such as carpal tunnel syndrome or mesothelioma), you may be entitled to full medical coverage under state law. To be compensated for certain lung diseases, an employee must have worked in a job with a coal, asbestos, or silica hazard for at least two years during the last ten years before your diagnosis.
Wage loss benefits. Employees injured on the job, or who cannot work due to occupational illness, are eligible to receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, up to a statutorily set maximum. There is no cost-of-living increase for these benefits. Even if you would have received raises if you were still working, your wage loss benefits remain static.
Death benefits. If your loved one was killed in a job-related accident, surviving dependents may be entitled to recover benefits. In Delaware, surviving spouses and children, as well as parents and siblings who actually depended on the employee for at least half of their financial support are eligible to recover benefits based on the decedent’s living wage.
Spouses are eligible to receive benefits for the duration of the time they are widowed. Dependent children are eligible to receive benefits until they turn 18. Any other dependents have a lime of 400 weeks of payments.
Lump-sum settlement. In some cases, the insurance company might offer an injured worker an upfront, lump-sum settlement for all expected wage losses and/or medical benefit expenses.
Disfigurement benefits. Workers who have been badly burned, scarred, disfigured, or have permanently lost all use of their finger(s), hand(s), arm(s), leg(s), toe(s), vision, or hearing, may be entitled to something known as “specific loss benefits.” These benefits are calculated relative to the injured worker’s average weekly wage.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. If you have been totally disabled, and are unable to return to work in the capacity you were prior to your accident, or if you can return but only in a different capacity for lower pay, you may be entitled to PPD benefits. These benefits are calculated according to a statutory formula. Your benefits will depend on your average weekly wages before you sustained your injury. These benefits are only “partial,” because they are only paid for 500 weeks, unless converted to “total disability” at that time.
Total disability benefits. Total disability benefits are paid out when an employee is totally and completely disabled, and unable to work in any capacity. Like PPD benefits, they are calculated according to a statutory formula, based on a workers’ average weekly wages before their accident. A worker can begin collecting total disability benefits as early as one week after they are unable to work as a result of their disabling condition.
Other benefits. Employees who have sustained serious work-related injuries, precluding them from returning to work for a year or longer, may be able to recover additional benefits through Social Security to augment their Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Employees Who Suffer Workplace Injuries
If you have been injured at work, contact the experienced, compassionate Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We are committed to getting injured workers the full array of benefits they are entitled to under state law. Call 302-888-1221 or complete our online form for a free consultation.