If you have suffered an injury at work, many questions must be running through your head. While trying to feel better and recover your health, you might also be trying to comprehend how workers’ compensation applies to your case, whether the medical treatment you need will be covered by your claim, how many days off are you able to take, how soon you will be able to go back to work, and many other issues.
What is meant by the “Waiting Period”?
As an employee, if you have been released to perform light or modified actions at work after suffering an injury, you should know that there are a set number of days that you must be off work before being eligible to receive benefits from workers’ comp. This is called the waiting period.
If you are able to go back to work before the lapse of this period, your claim will remain as a “medical only” claim, and not a lost-time claim.
Difference Between Lost-Time Injury and Medical-Treatment Case
Lost Time Injury
If you have suffered an injury at work that requires you to be absent from your job for at least a day, this would be defined as a lost-time injury. And this does not include the day of the injury.
Lost time injury claims are those that are serious enough to have a medical professional take the injured worker away from his normal responsibilities for a certain period of time. If you have a lost-time claim, you will be released to perform modified or light duties during your recovery period. If you follow the doctor’s restrictions regarding your activity and are able to perform the lighter duty during this period, your claim will remain as medical only.
Medical Treatment Case
If you sustain an injury while at work and this injury requires medical treatment, whether it be from a medical professional or a paramedic, you may not require to take time off from work.
A medical-only claim is one that requires the attention of a healthcare provider. As the injured worker, you may be released fully after treatment or you may have to have followup visits to your medical professional prior to being released.
How much do these claims pay?
The benefits that an injured employee receives during a lost-time claim are often higher than the total amount paid for the treatment of the injury as a medical-only claim. That is why most employees will try to place an injured worker on light duty doing at least some portion of their regular work as soon as the employee is willing or able to do so. And, from an employee’s perspective, this is a good thing since the National Safety Council has deemed that employees who are able to return to work even if all they perform is light-duty, are able to heal 30% faster than those who wait to be released from their doctors and, while that happens, are just sitting around at home.
Have you suffered an injury at work in Atlanta?
If you feel like you’re facing a daunting process and unsure what to do next, you need the legal guidance or Moebes Law, LLC, your Atlanta injury law firm. You should never feel as if you have been taken advantage of while trying to recover from an injury sustained at work. Give us a call today to schedule an initial no-obligation consultation. We will work with you throughout every step of this process and you will always know exactly where your case stands. Your consultation is free and our firm only gets paid after you do.