Workers' Compensation in Utah
Workers' compensation in Utah (known also as workers' comp, workmans compensation, workmans comp, and work compensation) is a system by which an employee who is injured in a work-related accident or who contracts an occupational illness can get money to replace lost wages and medical treatment for his injury without having to go through litigation and the court system. Employers in Utah are required to carry work compensation insurance, and all claims are handled by the Utah Labor Commission—Division of Industrial Actions.
A Utah workmans comp attorney is necessary for some workmans compensation claims that involve specific issues, although having legal counsel is generally recommended. For instance, if your boss is underinsured, uninsured, or is giving your difficulties with your claim, an attorney can make the process smoother and get you your benefits more swiftly.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Utah Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Injuries that happen because of accidents at the workplace are covered under workmans compensation insurance in Utah. These may, but do not have to include slipping, falling, and/or tripping.
- Employees who are injured while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or whose injuries are self-inflicted are most likely not covered under workers' comp insurance in Utah.
- Any disease that is aggravated by the employee's occupation, or that arises out of the course of his occupation. These may include asbestosis, black lung disease, or carpal tunnel syndrome, among others.
- Dependents of a worker who dies get death benefits.
The Utah Workers Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- Injured employees have up to 180 days to report their worksite injuries, but it is in their best interest to notify their employers immediately after injury occurs.
- When your employer gets word of your injury, he must fill out an "Employer's First Report of Injury or Illness," (Form 122) within seven days from when you reported your injury or illness. Your employer must send you a copy of the report
- The statute of limitations for a workers' compensation claim in Utah is one year. Filing your claim after this time period will mean you are barred from receiving medical and income benefits from your boss' workers' comp insurance.
- Get Medical Help As Soon As Possible
- Tell the doctor who examines you after your worksite accident or the onset of your occupational illness that you were injured or became ill because of your job.The physician must fill out a "Physician's Initial Report of Injury or Illness," (Form 123) within seven days of your initia'l examination.
- If you need assistance with your workers' comp claim, request aid from a Utah workmans comp lawyer.
Benefits Received in Utah Under the Workers' Compensation Program
Below are a variety of workmans compensation benefits available to you that you should discuss with a Utah workers comp attorney:
- Medical Treatment: An injured worker's employer's insurer pays the health care provider for his medical expenses related to treatment of his work-connected injury or occupational illness.
- Wage Reimbursement: A worker's travel expenses for doctor's appointments, hospital visits, and other medical treatment may be reimbursed by the employer's work compensation insurance. An injured employee must submit his request for reimbursement to his employer's insurance carrier within 1 year of receiving medical care.
- Funeral: $8,000 burial or funeral allowance.
- Death: Payable to the spouse and/or the dependents of a deceased employee whose work-related injuries or occupational illness caused his death.;
- Vocational Rehabilitation:; Possible if a employee's injuries make it impossible for him to return to his old occupation. Rehabilitation may include retraining for a new job, and/or job placement.
- Income Benefits: the kind of income benefit you receive depends on the kind of injury and the length of your injury or illness:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): Available when an employee is recovering from his injury and his time off from work is physician approved.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): If a doctor places medical restrictions on a worker because of his injury or illness, but the worker can still do some work and earn some income, albeit at a reduced wage or for shorter hours.
- Amount: The worker will be paid 2/3 of his wage at the time of his injury, plus $5 each week for his dependents. These payments are subject to a statutory maximum.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): If the employee's injury renders him incapable of performing any form of employment.
- Amount: TPD benefits provide a worker with 2/3 of the difference between the amount he gets paid after his injury and his average weekly wage when he was injured, plus $5 each week for his dependents.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): If a worker is still impaired by his injury after he has reached a fixed medical state of recovery, but can still do some work—even if not at his old job, he may be eligible for PPD benefits. Injuries in this category often include loss of a finger, toe, or limb. The amount of the benefit depends on the employee's impairment rating.
- Amount: The weekly benefit is 2/3 of the employee's average weekly wage prior to his injury.
Why Hire A Utah Workers' Comp Lawyer
Hire a Utah workmans compensation attorney if the stakes in the outcome of your work compensation claim are high. A lawyer experienced in Utah policies and procedures for work compensation claims can provide you with reassurance that your claim will get you the correct compensation benefits. This is especially the case if your injury or occupational disease is difficult to prove, you are facing a lengthy period of impairment, or there was a third person involved in causing your injury. In addition, if you were injured by a defective product or piece of equipment, the manufacturer of the product may be responsible for your injury, and a Utah work compensation lawyer can assist you with filing a separate claim and protecting your rights.
Utah Workers' Compensation Act
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Workers' Compensation Act, Tit. 34A, Chp.2 § 103.
- Covered Employees
- Workers' Compensation Act, Tit. 34A, Chp.2 § 104.
- Workers' Compensation Act, Tit. 34A, Chp.2 §§ 401-416.
- Claims Procedure
- Workers' Compensation Act, Tit. 34A, Chp.2 § 417.