Utah Workers Comp Lawyer
If you’ve recently suffered an illness or injury caused by the requirements of your job and you need help filing for the workers compensation benefits you’re entitled to, contact a Utah workers comp claim lawyer today.
Being injured or falling ill while at work can raise a lot of concerns. You’re probably worried about how you will continue to support your lifestyle, as well as whether your current position will still be available to you if or when you are medically able to return to work. The good news is, in Utah, every employer is required to carry workers compensation coverage.
You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll survive when you suffer a work injury. Gain access to the benefits you deserve by contacting a qualified Utah workers comp lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates.
Eligibility for Workers Comp in Utah
You have to meet some basic requirements in order to qualify for Utah workers compensation benefits. Unlike in other states, you’ll be eligible for benefits as soon as you begin working. There is no thirty- or sixty-day waiting period or minimum number of hours you need to work each week to qualify.
The most important thing to remember is that you will only be able to receive workers compensation benefits if you are injured or fall ill while being paid for performing the obligations of your position. That’s not to say that helping out a coworker and suffering an injury will render you ineligible, but you must be engaging in work activities in order to qualify for benefits.
What Your Benefits Should Cover
Workers compensation benefits will cover two primary areas while you are unable to work: your medical costs and a portion of your income. The medical expenses you incurred as a result of your illness or injury should be completely covered by your workers comp benefits. This includes hospital bills, medical equipment, copays, and transportation costs for doctor visits.
Your weekly benefits can be calculated in a few different ways, and each depends on the severity of your injury and how impactful it will be on your life. There are four main types of disability wage compensation:
- Temporary Total Disability Compensation – Benefits are paid when you are unable to work for more than fourteen days.
- Temporary Partial Disability Compensation – You will receive this type of compensation if you are temporarily unable to earn your pre-injury wages while in recovery. An example could include having to work a reduced number of hours.
- Permanent Partial Disability Compensation – These benefits are provided if your illness or injury permanently impairs you in some way that will not necessarily keep you from working in the future.
- Permanent Total Disability Compensation – These benefits are given when you are unable to return to your position or work any other type of position.
The Fear of Retaliation
One reason why many injured workers in Utah fail to receive the workers compensation benefits they deserve is the fear of retaliation. In the context of work comp, retaliation is when an employer suspends, fires, or demotes you or creates a hostile work environment for you simply because you are seeking workers comp benefits.
The Labor Commission of the State of Utah has made it illegal for employers to retaliate against their employees for filing for workers compensation benefits. In fact, even the slightest correlation between a firing, suspension, or demotion and a work injury can result in a wrongful discharge lawsuit.
Appealing a Denied Utah Work Comp Claim
When we are unable to come to an agreement with your insurance adjuster, and the Industrial Accidents Division of the Labor Commission fails to secure your benefits, we can move forward with filing an appeal for a hearing with the Adjudication Division of the Labor Commission.
We may then proceed to mediation. If we are still unable to gain approval for your claim, we will plead your case in a hearing with a judge, who will make a final decision regarding your claim.
Utah Workers Comp FAQ
Below are some questions many Utah workers comp claimants ask us. Feel free to give us a call to ask any other questions you may have.
Why was I denied Utah work comp benefits?
The specific reason for your denial should be listed on your denial letter. Some common valid reasons claimants are denied include failing to report your illness or injury to your employer within 180 days of your injury, a low impairment rating by your physician, and violating company policies to cause your injury (such as on-the-job horseplay, being under the influence, or committing a crime).
How long can I collect workers comp in Utah?
You will be able to receive temporary disability benefits until you are medically able to return to your position or if you are offered a lesser position that you are able to handle while you’re recovering. If you will need long-term benefits, the maximum allotted time period to receive workers comp benefits is twelve years or 312 weeks, at which point you may receive permanent disability workers comp.
Are stress-related illnesses covered?
As long as we are able to establish with documentation from your physician that your stress-related condition is a direct result of the work you perform, you should be able to receive workers comp benefits for such conditions. If you are denied, we can always answer any objections the insurer or your employer have and file an appeal.
How much will my benefits be?
This will depend on the severity of your injury. If you are temporarily disabled, you’ll likely receive two-thirds of your weekly salary. If you are permanently disabled, you may be able to collect up to 85 percent of Utah’s average weekly wage at the time of the injury occurring.
Can I work another job while receiving workers comp?
If you previously retained a second job or you are able to work a position that pays less than your pre-injury position, you can still collect workers comp benefits but at a reduced rate based on your current and prior weekly salary ranges. You cannot decline to work a lesser paying position offered by your current employer in the hopes of continuing to receive your current weekly benefits.
What if I am partially responsible for the accident?
Workers compensation benefits are determined on a no-fault system, so even if you are partially responsible for your injuries, you should be able to receive your benefits. It’s important to note that your benefits can be reduced and your employer could have to pay more if either of you ignored safety protocols that could have prevented the injury or illness.
Get in Touch with a Utah Workers Comp Attorney
Don’t let a work illness or injury prevent you from supporting yourself and your family. You are entitled to workers compensation benefits as long as your injury or illness occurred at work while you were on the clock. If you’ve been denied the coverage you deserve and need assistance gaining approval for your benefits, contact an experienced lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Utah workers comp lawyer, give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.