Experiencing an injury early on in employment can often make new workers hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, workers don’t understand their rights; other times, they’re fearful of backlash from their brand new employer. While these fears are understandable, they can also easily be overcome with the right guidance and counsel.
If you or a loved one has experienced an on-the-job injury, within months or even moments of beginning a new job, contact our supportive workers’ compensation attorneys at Nuñez & Associates. We know your rights, no matter how long you were employed, and we’re not afraid to fight for them. Call us today – we’ll ease your mind, erase your fears and get your claim started right.
Workers who are injured on the job or because of an illness or condition caused by a job-related task may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This applies regardless if the employee was injured within the first five minutes of being on a new job, so long as the injury occurred in the course and scope of the injured worker’s employment. In other words, there is no minimum amount of time or probationary period in which workers’ compensation benefits would not apply.
All of the same benefits that are accorded workers who have been on the job for decades are conferred on new workers as well. Like other injured workers, a new employee who is injured must report the injury promptly and follow all other procedures regarding the claim.
The employer then has the right to have an injured worker examined by its own doctor one time. After that, employees have the right to choose their own treating physician, unless the employer is self-insured.
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Workers’ compensation pays 100% of all medical expenses with no time limit or cost ceiling, so long as the expenses are reasonable, necessary, and related to the injuries sustained on the job.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Once you are absent for at least eight days, you are entitled to TTD benefits. You are paid for the first seven days so long as you are unable to work for at least two weeks. As of March 2016, workers may receive 66.67% of their average monthly wage, up to a maximum of $4,428.91.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Permanent Total Disability applies to workers who have totally lost their earning capacity because of an injury sustained in the course and scope of their employment. As of March 2016, these injured employees may receive 66.67% of their average monthly wage, up to the maximum of $4,428.91, for the remainder of their lives.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Arizona has “scheduled” and “unscheduled” injuries regarding those that constitute impairments. Scheduled injuries are certain body parts that are lost or impaired and include legs, arms, hands, eyes and fingers. Everything else is non-scheduled. Injuries to a scheduled body part are paid based on the number of months in the schedule and multiplying that by the percentage of permanency or impairment assigned by the physician.
An unscheduled injury can be a combination of impaired body parts or a general impairment. The Industrial Commission of Arizona, or ICA, determines the amount of compensation based on the loss of earning capacity. Loss of earning capacity is based on the worker’s education, work experience, skills, age and physical or mental limitations. The awarded amount can change after one year by either the insurer or worker filing a Petition for Rearrangement. Through such a petition, the ICA can raise, lower or retain the amount being provided to an injured worker. This type of petition may also result in the termination of payments.
Even if a new worker is killed within the first minute of work on the job, his/her family is likely still entitled to death or survivor benefits, which currently provide for:
- Up to $5,000 for funeral expenses
- A surviving spouse with no children receives 66.67% of the decedent worker’s average monthly wages or 35% if there are children
- Children are compensated based on the particular situation, but compensation may continue to age 18 or 22 if enrolled full-time in school. Disabled children may be compensated for life.
- Dependent parents may receive 40% of the worker’s average monthly wages.