How much compensation can you get for medical expenses and lost wages?
Our work injury lawyers can explain your legal rights.
Why do so many injured workers across Arizona fail to obtain their maximum workers’ compensation and disability benefits while they’re unable to work? In part, because the workers’ compensation claims and hearing process can be lengthy and confusing, leaving you frustrated and stressed as you struggle to understand your rights. On top of everything, you might be getting mixed messages from your employer and their insurance company regarding what compensation you’re owed.
At the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski, we understand how difficult it can be to recover from your injuries while at the same time attempting to navigate the cumbersome compensation claim process and put food on the table for your family. You deserve an experienced lawyer standing by your side who will work for you, because you can’t.
Without professional representation, many injured workers fail to receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
Getting a check in the mail for workers’ compensation benefits you’re owed shouldn’t be difficult, but the reality is that employers and insurance companies often make injured workers jump through hoops.
We’re here to help set the record straight.
Our experienced work injury attorneys have successfully represented hardworking Arizonans who have suffered from a work-related accident or illness. Schedule your free consultation today.
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“You have shown integrity, care and compassion concerning my case – as well as my self – personally, which most would not have bothered themselves with. This personal touch counts and I will definitely toot your horn for you whenever there is a need or opportunity to do so. Again, I thank you and I greatly appreciate what you have all done for me. You will all be in my heart and mind. Sincerely and with great appreciation.” – K.S.
Benefits for Injured Workers in Arizona
For starters, you should know that workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system in Arizona, meaning injured workers receive medical and compensation benefits no matter who caused the job-related accident. In some cases where the injury or illness is catastrophic and long-lasting, you may also receive permanent compensation benefits and “job retraining.”
With that said, unfortunately, workers’ comp isn’t an end-all solution.
Generally speaking, Arizona places limits on the workers’ compensation benefits your employer is forced to pay, and your employer’s insurance company doesn’t have to pay for all of your losses — just the losses specified by state law. For instance, an injured worker won’t receive payment for pain and suffering under the workers’ comp system.
The benefits made available for injured workers in Arizona fall into three main categories:
If you’ve suffered an injury at work, then you’re entitled to receive compensation for associated medical costs and expenses, including:
- Hospital and emergency room visits
- Prescription medications
- Visits to physicians
- Medical examinations and diagnostics
- Physical therapy
- Reimbursement for travel expenses to attend medical appointments
Wage Loss & Disability
Injured workers in Arizona may also be able to receive lost income benefits based on their injury and the circumstances surrounding their injuries. If your disability is permanent and total, your benefits will equal 2/3 of your average monthly wage, up to the state’s maximum benefit amount.
These income benefits will generally fall into one of four categories:
- Temporary total disability (TTD). Paid to injured workers who are temporarily unable to return to work after sustaining an injury. A physician must fully take you off work.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD). Paid to injured workers who are able to return to work but aren’t able to perform all aspects of their required duties. A physician must specify what your work restrictions and limitations are.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD). Paid to injured workers who have sustained a permanent injury but are still able to work in some capacity.
- Permanent total disability (PTD). Paid to injured workers who have sustained injuries severe enough that they render the individual completely unable to work.
In the event of a fatal workplace accident or occupational illness, the worker’s surviving dependents — spouse, children/stepchildren, parents, siblings and/or other dependents — may receive compensation for the death of their loved one. Generally, death benefits pay up to 2/3 of the deceased worker’s average monthly wage.
How long death benefits are paid depends on the dependents’ relationship to the deceased. In addition, the insurance company must pay up to $5,000 for the worker’s funeral and burial expenses.
Types of Permanent Injuries: Scheduled vs. Unscheduled
Arizona law recognizes two types of permanent injuries: scheduled and unscheduled. The award for compensation that you may be entitled to is determined by Arizona workers’ compensation law and depends on your type of injury.
This includes permanent work-related injuries that involve a part of the body such as the eye, arm, hand, leg, foot, or ear. With scheduled types of injuries, there are established periods allowed for compensation predetermined by state law, legal precedent and set insurance company policies.
The percentage of disability determined by your doctor is plugged into a formula used to calculate a permanent disability. The award is paid out over a set number of months as indicated in the formula. The employer’s insurance company will determine the amount they will pay each month and for how many months it will pay.
It’s important to pay careful attention to these awards because they are commonly miscalculated in favor of the insurance company. You may also be eligible to receive vocational training from the state if you’re unable to continue your prior job. There are often many disputes over permanent injuries with scheduled awards.
Unscheduled injuries are typically more general types of disabilities and include occupational diseases, injuries to a hip, shoulder, back or two “scheduled” injuries. If you have previously filed a workers’ compensation claim, even in another state, you may be eligible for this type of award.
An unscheduled award is based on your general reduction in your ability to earn, not just the percentage of disability. This means that it’s possible to receive nothing if the insurance company proves you have no diminished earning ability, even with a disability.
Injuries can also be classified as unscheduled in other ways by Arizona law. An unscheduled injury has to be reaffirmed every year, can go up or down, and can be fervently contested by the insurance carrier. The assistance of an attorney can often be the difference between receiving nothing and a significant monthly award.
Both scheduled and unscheduled injuries can create challenges in receiving your benefits. Attorneys Robert Wisniewski or Javier Grajeda — Workers’ Compensation Certified Specialists — have the experience necessary to determine the type of injury that you have suffered and the award that you are entitled to receive. Contact us to schedule your free workers’ compensation consultation today.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury or Accident
Taking the right steps (in the right order) after a workplace accident is essential to ensuring you receive maximum benefits in Arizona. If you’re injured on the job, it’s essential that you notify your employer of the injury as soon as possible. It also helps to write down all the details surrounding your injury while they’re fresh in your mind. After formally notifying your employer and writing down the incident, request to be examined by a physician immediately.
Read more: How to Apply for Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation claims take time before you begin receiving benefits. However, you should begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits as soon as your claim is processed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA).
Once the ICA receives your claim, your employer’s insurance company is notified. The insurance company either accepts or denies it within 21 days. In the event that your claim is denied, you will receive a Notice of Claim Status from the insurance company. It is then your responsibility to protest the denial. You have a 90-day period in which you may protest, and you must immediately file the appeal. After the appeal is filed, an administrative hearing before a judge will be scheduled. You must attend the hearing and be prepared.
The workers’ compensation claim process may be intimidating and seem complex. Let the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski help you through the process. Attorneys Robert Wisniewski and Javier Grajeda have represented thousands of people through the claim process and can help you too. Call (602) 234-3700 to schedule your free consultation.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
Arizona Workers’ Compensation GuideFREE E-BOOK
What do you do if you’re injured on-the-job? Our free guide contains knowledge to help the injured worker understand the workers’ compensation application process.
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Contact Our Arizona Workers’ Comp Lawyers For Your FREE Consultation
If you have been injured on-the-job in Arizona, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to schedule your free attorney consultation. At the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski, we understand the injured worker. For over 43 years, we have provided timely, dedicated representation to thousands of severely injured workers across Arizona.
Under Arizona workers’ compensation law, injured workers only have 1 year from the date of injury to file a claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. The worker must also notify their employer as soon as possible after becoming aware of an injury or illness that occurred on the job. Any delay in reporting the accident may result in your benefits being reduced — or denied completely.
Don’t delay any longer. Let us help you secure maximum workers’ compensation benefits for you and your family.
Why hire our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers?
- We understand the special needs of an injured worker
- Trained and helpful staff
- Personal attention to clients
- Calls promptly returned
- Clients kept up-to-date on case
- State-wide service
- Aggressive & experienced representation
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While our main law office is in downtown Phoenix, we handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Arizona – including Yuma, Kingman, Payson and Flagstaff.