Delaware Workers Comp Lawyer

If you’ve been injured at work and need compensation while you recover, reach out to a Delaware workers compensation lawyer for help.

Falling ill or becoming injured on the job can be a challenging situation to handle. Not only will you need to worry about how you’ll support yourself while you’re out of work, but you may also be concerned that your employer will retaliate against you if you choose to file a claim for the workers comp benefits you’re entitled to.

In Delaware, almost every employer is required to carry workers compensation insurance coverage in case of a situation in which an employee needs financial protection while he or she recovers from an injury or illness.

This area of the law is confusing, and it often leaves injured workers empty-handed. Speak with a qualified Delaware workers comp lawyer at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor as soon as possible if you need support as you seek the benefits you deserve.

Qualifying for Workers Compensation in Delaware

To be eligible for Delaware workman’s compensation benefits, the primary requirement is that you were actively employed at the time of your injury or illness. Also, the injury has to have occurred while you were performing a function of your paid position. Someone who is injured off of company property but while performing a work-related task is still considered eligible for benefits.

However, if you were in violation of company policy, meaning you were breaking the law or engaging in horseplay when you were injured, your employer or work comp insurer may choose to fight your claim.

In addition, you need to be sure to inform your employer of your intent to file your claim within ninety days of an accidental injury and within six months of a diagnosed disease or illness. Failure to do so could result in you becoming ineligible for workers comp benefits.

What Your Benefits Will Cover

Workers compensation benefits in Delaware cover two very specific areas: medical expenses pertaining to the injury or illness you’ve endured and your missed income while you are unable to work.

You won’t have to worry about how you’ll cover your medical bills, as workers comp will cover the entirety of these expenses, including transportation costs to and from your treating physician, as necessary. You should also be able to choose your own physician as long as you notify your employer of your decision within thirty days of beginning treatment.

For many work injury victims in Delaware, the real concern becomes how much of their income they will still be able to receive as replacement income while they are out of work.

How Much You Can Expect to Collect

Every injured employee, regardless of the severity of the injury or condition, is entitled to receive two-thirds of his or her weekly income, with a cap based on the state’s average weekly salary. This average weekly salary is computed using the twenty-six weeks prior your injury.

The only instance in which an injured employee will receive additional funds for his or her injury is in the event that the worker became blind or deaf or lost a limb. In such cases, a certified medical examiner will give your loss a disability rating, and you’ll receive that percentage as applied to your determined weekly benefits and number of weeks you’re set to receive benefits.

Proving the extent of your injuries and understanding the complicated rules surrounding work comp is difficult, especially when you’re dealing with an injury. That’s why many victims like you work with a workers comp lawyer in Delaware.

The Process of Filing Your Delaware Work Comp Claim

When you first become injured or ill, you should notify your employer of your condition and intent to seek workers compensation benefits while you recover as soon as possible. Your employer will need to take a report of what happened or what you were exposed to.

Then, your employer will have ten days to report this information to the Delaware Office of Workers’ Compensation, as well as to the appropriate insurance company, so your claim can be processed as quickly as possible.

If approved, you’ll begin collecting the benefits as calculated after the seventh day of you being unable to work. You can start accruing benefits as of your third day out of work, but your injury must render you unable to work for a minimum of seven days for you to be eligible to receive Delaware workers comp benefits.

Your approval letter should state exactly what you can expect in terms of the amount of time you’re expected to need benefits based on the report by your treating physician, as well as how much your weekly benefits will provide. If you have any questions regarding the specifics of your approval, you can always reach out to the insurance company for more information.

Handling a Workers Comp Claim Denial

Before we resort to filing an appeal, we will first work with the insurance company to determine whether all of your paperwork was filed correctly and whether any additional supporting medical documentation would be helpful in obtaining an approval.

If the insurer remains rigid in its determination and has no desire to negotiate further, we will petition the Delaware Office of Workers’ Compensation and schedule a hearing with the Industrial Accident Board, where a third-party committee will determine whether your Delaware work comp claim should be approved.

If it is still denied, we have one last option: filing a formal appeal with a state court, where a judge will make a final determination regarding your claim.

Delaware Workers Comp FAQ

Filing for workers compensation is not the same thing as suing your employer for the injury or illness you’ve suffered. We know the process of obtaining workers comp benefits can be complicated. For this reason, we’ve answered some of the most common questions our clients have had regarding their workers comp claims.

What happens if I will be permanently unable to return to work?

If your treating physician determines that you’ll permanently be unable to work, you will continue to receive workers comp benefits until you exhaust the maximum allowable time, or 300 weeks. Then, you will begin collecting state or federal disability benefits.

How long can I receive my workers comp benefits for?

The maximum amount of time anyone can receive workers compensation benefits in Delaware is 300 weeks, or a little less than six years. For non-disabling injuries, you can collect workers comp until your physician determines that you are medically cleared to return to your pre-injury position.

If I was at fault for my injuries, can I still file a workers comp claim?

Absolutely. Workers compensation doesn’t take into account who was at fault for the accident. As long as the injury or illness occurred while you were on the clock performing the duties of your position, you are still able to collect the benefits you’re entitled to.

Meet with a Delaware Workers Comp Attorney

When you need help understanding the often complex world of workers compensation, or if you have been wrongfully denied benefits and need assistance appealing the decision, contact a qualified lawyer with Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor today.

We can schedule your free consultation with a Delaware workers comp lawyer when you fill out the quick contact form we’ve provided below or give us a call at 302-734-8400.