If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Idaho does place limits on how much you may be able to collect, and depending on what type of business you work for, you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation. And, to figure the amount you should be collecting may be a bit daunting. Idaho also has strict restrictions on workers’ compensation.
Instead of trying to manage the system by yourself, retain a workers’ compensation attorney such as Litster Frost Injury Lawyers. Our experienced attorneys will help you navigate the system and will ensure that you get the amount that you may be entitled to.
Time and Wage Limits
If you are injured on the job, you should see a doctor immediately. You must report an injury to your employer within 60 days; however, you do have a year to file a claim.
Idaho has a waiting period for wage replacement unless you are hospitalized as an inpatient due to a work-related injury. You could receive up to 90 percent of the average weekly state wage, but will not receive less than 45 percent of the average weekly state wage. Figuring out the amount you are entitled to may be confusing. An attorney will be able to help you figure the proper amount.
Choosing a Doctor
In many cases, the insurance company will choose a doctor for you. If you want to request your own doctor to evaluate and treat you for a work-related injury, you must have permission from your employer’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not allow you to use your own doctor, you may file a petition for change of physician and the court may or may not grant your request.
Workers’ compensation is only available for a “reasonable time,” thus, compensation for a life-changing injury ends although the injury has not been resolved. A “reasonable time” may be up to 500 weeks, depending on the injury. Instead, if you are not able to return to the same type of work where you were injured, you might be eligible for “retraining benefits” for up to one year. This gives you time to train for another career that is not affected by the life-changing injury you suffered in your original line of work.
In some circumstances, workers’ compensation will cover mental injuries, but it is rare. You must be able to meet the statutory requirements in order to be compensated for mental injuries. These include:
- The mental injury must be caused by the physical injury or the accident that happened because of your employment and that accident or injury must be covered by workers’ compensation law. The accident must have been undesigned, unexpected and not on purpose and must be connected with the industry you work in. It must also have happened at the site and during normal working hours for that industry. The statute also defines injury and personal injury as an injury that was caused by an accident that caused violence to your physical body. This does not include occupational diseases or nonoccupational diseases that were caused directly by the injury.
- The mental injury must obviously be connected with something that happened in the workplace and it has had a sudden onset.
- Workers’ compensation is not paid for general work conditions for the industry you work in. Nor are they payable because of disciplinary action, job evaluation, a change in your duties or because you were terminated.
- The injury and the accident must be the main cause of the mental injury.
- The mental injury must be real.
- The mental injury must be defined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders in the revised third edition or a newer manual by the American Psychiatric Association. The mental injury must also be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist that is licensed to practice in the same jurisdiction where your physical injury is being treated.
- Finally, the evidence that shows that your psychological injury must be convincing in that you suffered this mental injury because of an accident at work or because of an occupational disease.
If Your Claim is Denied
Should your claim be denied, you will need to request a formal hearing with the Idaho Industrial Commission. You must file a Complaint form and a Request for Calendaring so that you get a date for the hearing. You will be expected to provide evidence showing why your claim should be granted. Evidence may include pay stubs to prove your average weekly wage, testimony from fellow employees who witnessed the accident, and expert testimony from doctors to show your injury is related to your job. If you are suffering from a mental injury that is related to the accident and injury, you will also need to bring evidence that the mental injury was sudden and was caused by the actual accident or injury.
Since this process may be difficult, you may want to retain a workers’ compensation attorney to help you through the process, especially if you are claiming a mental injury.
Contact Litster Frost Injury Lawyers
If you are ready to file an initial workers’ compensation claim or you have been denied and need to file an appeal, contact Litster Frost Injury Lawyers to set up a consultation. If you are at the appeal stage, please bring a copy of your original claim and any other documentation you might have with you.