Laceration and Workers' Compensation

No one goes to work with the intention of getting hurt. We go to work to earn a living and to take care of our family. Yet, people are hurt on the job every day. If you were hurt on the job, would you know what to do? Could you afford to get the medical care that you would need? Do you have enough money in savings to pay your bills while you recover if you’re unable to work?

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Can Help You

Workers’ compensation insurance can help you if you’re hurt on the job. This is a form of insurance that is legally required by each state for most employers. The goal is to help injured workers get the care that they need. This is provided at no cost to injured workers. However, for injured workers to receive benefits from the program, they must file a claim. The benefits that you receive will depend upon the severity of your injury on the job.

Every job has its own risks. You can suffer an injury while working regardless of how safe you are and even if you follow all the proper safety protocol. There are many ways you can suffer a laceration while working, and some lacerations are very serious and require ongoing medical care. When you suffer a laceration in a workplace incident, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation laws vary from one state to another, but in general, workers’ compensation includes medical benefits and covers about two-thirds of your lost wages while you are recovering from the injury. Workers’ compensation benefits can have a significant impact on your family’s finances while you are unable to work because of the injury that you suffered while performing your work duties.

Laceration Risks

Lacerations are cuts. Although everyone who works is at risk of receiving a laceration, some occupations face a higher risk of injury.

  • Cooks and chefs are at risk of laceration when they prefer food or when dishes are broken.
  • Butchers are at risk of lacerations with the use of sharp knives and machines that cut meat.
  • Servers and wait staff also face a high risk of being cut in their line of work.
  • People who work on construction sites or as roofers run the risk of lacerations. If you’re cut by a rusty nail, you also face the possibility of severe infections.

Although lacerations can be minor, they can also be severe. You could lose a finger or even an arm. Your cut could become infected and lead to amputation. If you receive a laceration on the job, you should consider filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Common Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you suffer from a laceration that requires immediate medical assistance, you are entitled to call 911 to receive emergency medical care. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you should file a claim. Common benefits include:

  1. Medical care. When you file your claim, ask your manager or HR representative for a list of medical professionals who can treat you at no charge. Treatment may include doctor’s visits, stitches, medication, antibiotics, and other medical care related to the laceration.
  2. Payment of partial wages if you are unable to work either temporarily or permanently. Please note that you will have to meet workers’ compensation guidelines to access this benefit.
  3. Job training may be available if you will not be able to return to your original line of work.

What Are The Steps To Take?

If you suffer a laceration while working, you should seek medical care right away. By establishing medical treatment, you are showing the connection between the workplace accident and your injury. In most cases, there is a network of providers that are contracted with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. If you fail to see an in-network provider, you may end up losing your workers’ compensation benefits and paying for your own medical care. There should be a list of network providers posted in your company breakroom or by a time clock. If you don’t see a list, ask your manager or supervisor for a copy.

If your cut is deep and there is a lot of blood loss, then an ambulance may be called. As an example, if a chain saw cut into your leg, or if an artery was severed. In this case, workers’ compensation will cover your emergency medical treatment at the hospital where you are transported, and they will also cover the cost of the ambulance transport. It is important to notify your employer of your injury and of the accident. If you have suffered a cut while on the job, don’t hesitate to notify your supervisor, a manager, or the company human resources department.

Your employer must complete an accident report. You should try to jot down some notes about the accident while it is fresh in your memory. That way, you will be able to provide specific details to your employer for inclusion in the report. You should also be attentive so you can identify any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses will need to provide statements for inclusion in the accident report. You will also want copies of written statements from any witnesses to support your workers’ compensation claim for a laceration.

If possible, get photos of the accident scene. You should at least get photos of the injury. Check to see if your accident was captured by a surveillance camera in the area. If so, that video can be used as evidence for your workers’ compensation claim and to support your case. You will need to maintain thorough documentation that will show your losses and support your claim. Keep copies of any medical bills, copies of medical records, and copies of any medical excuses. You will also need a copy of the accident report.

Potential Settlements For A Workers’ Compensation Claim For A Laceration

If you have suffered a laceration while on the job, you will want to know the value of your settlement for your case. Workers’ compensation pays specific benefits because only specific losses are covered. As an example, workers’ compensation offers medical benefits. That means that your medical expenses are covered. If your laceration adds up to $4,600 worth of medical care, then that figure is what will be added into the value of your claim. Workers’ compensation also covers a portion of your lost wages. In most cases, that is about two-thirds of your regular salary. So, if you are going to be unable to work for 6 weeks and you earn $500 per week, that adds up to $3,000. The two-thirds amount of that salary is $2,010. In this scenario, the $2,010 is added to the $4,600 to come out to $6,610 total.

How quickly a claim is settled depends on the severity of the injury and the need for future medical care. You don’t want to settle a claim too quickly because you may need more treatment in the future, and you may have to miss more work because of the injury. You only get one settlement, so you want to make sure that all your medical treatment is either completed or that you are well aware of the future needs that your injury will require. You will also want – in writing from a physician – if you have any permanent or long-term disabilities from the workplace accident. That should be considered while your workers’ compensation settlement is being negotiated. If you have suffered permanent disability and you cannot return to the same job, workers’ comp may cover the costs associated with vocational retraining, but that is dependent on your state laws.

Consult With A Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have suffered a laceration in a workplace accident, you have a limited time to pursue a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. Every state sets its own laws and its statute of limitations. If you wait too long, you cannot recover compensation for your damages. You should enlist the help of a workers’ compensation attorney who handles workplace injury cases in your area. An attorney will investigate your incident and gather the supporting evidence and documentation while building a strong case against your employer.

Most workers’ compensation attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which will mean that there is no out of pocket costs. In that situation, your attorney is only compensated if and when your claim has been won and you get a settlement from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share details of your case so you can determine the best way to proceed with your workers’ compensation claim for suffering a laceration in a workplace accident.