Injured workers who qualify are able to collect compensation for lost wages.
Those that sustain damages at work are almost always eligible for workers’ compensation. One of the most valuable aspects of this system is the fact that injured employees can collect payment for lost wages. In short, this provision allows you to receive a portion of the money you lost to your injury. This framework, however, is not as simple it might sound.
Missing Time For Recovery
The most obvious form of lost wages is the money you lose from missing time at your job. If you get paid hourly, this will start to happen right away. If you are on salary, it might take a bit longer. Either way, there is a good chance that you will miss out on a few paychecks. This effect is especially pronounced when your injury is severe. Take a broken leg for example. If you suffer this injury and your job requires a high level of physical ability, you could be unable to perform work activities for up to six months. Your company may give you a light duty position, but there’s a chance that you’ll stay away from your job entirely.
Lessened Earning Capacity
Now, onto the less apparent reasons for lost wages. One of them is lessened earning capacity. As you might imagine, a person that is handicapped in any way will have a harder time competing in a physical job. This happens in two ways. First, you might be forced to work a schedule that is less than full time. Doing so will make you a part-time worker and might reduce your wages. Second, you may be less likely to be promoted to higher positions. Both outcomes lead to reduced pay.
Lost Opportunities For Growth
Similar to the last category, you can also seek compensation for a lost opportunity. One typical example is workers getting injured before they’re about to start a new job. While their old company might retain them at the same wage, they could have enjoyed a substantial pay raise at a new job. Unfortunately, companies do not owe you anything if they’ve never employed you, so you’d be out of luck in this situation.
Lastly, having any sort of disability puts you at risk of discrimination. This treatment can take place at both your current company and new ones. At the former, your superiors might resent the fact that you collected so much in workers’ compensation and treat you poorly as a result. For the latter, you could have a tough time finding a new job because hiring managers do not want somebody with lessened capabilities. Either way, your earning power might suffer.
Though people often claim workers’ compensation is a simple system, it isn’t quite as straightforward as most think. One area in which this claim is true is lost wages, which takes a significant amount of interpretation to estimate correctly. Fortunately, you can make sure you assess your situation accurately and get every dollar you deserve by having an experienced work injury lawyer review your case free of charge. If you have been injured on the job, give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300.