If you work in the public sector, you may be subjected to hazards that can result in serious injury. If you are injured while working in the public sector, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is essential to speak with an attorney about your rights related to your injury.
At Bruce L. Weider, PC, we represent public sector workers who have been injured on the job in Ypsilanti, MI, and the surrounding areas. Our lawyers are well-versed in helping clients obtain the maximum benefits allowed by state and federal law. Government work can be dangerous, you should not have to pay out of pocket if you are injured on the job. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation workers’ compensation case evaluation.
What Are Public Sector Jobs?
Public sector jobs are any jobs where you work for the government, including the federal government or the state. You may also be considered in the public sector if you work for a city or municipality. With the majority of public sector jobs, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured while on the job.
Common public sector jobs include:
- Janitorial work
- Law enforcement
- Road construction
- Administrative positions
- Water worker
- Environmental scientist
- Fishing workers
- Agricultural workers
- Transportation workers
These are only a few of the many occupations available in the public sector. Unfortunately, many of these careers are extremely dangerous, leading to serious injury or death. If you or a loved one is injured while working in the public sector, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you were partially responsible for your harm. It is critical to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal rights.
What Are Common Physical Injuries Sustained in Public Sector Jobs?
Injuries in public sector jobs can range in severity. While some jobs are more hazardous than others, injuries can occur in any position. It is important that you report your injury immediately to your employer. You need to file a notice of your injury in writing.
Common physical injuries sustained in public sector jobs:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Injuries related to a mechanical failure
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
- Burn injuries
- Fall injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Strains and sprains
- Lung damage
It is imperative to act fast if you sustain an injury on the job. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your injury within a certain amount of time. To determine how long you have to report your injury, you need to speak to an attorney. An attorney can help guide you through the legal process and work to ensure you receive the maximum benefit allowed by state or federal law.
When Am I Not Eligible to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
There are limited exceptions where an employer does not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, or you are not entitled to benefits.
Individuals who may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Your injury was not work-related;
- You were injured as a result of your “intentional and willful misconduct;”
- You deviated from your business travel;
- The person or company that employs you is not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance;
- You are a sole proprietor; or
- You are ineligible due to the limited amount of time you work.
If you are unsure whether you are covered under your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance, you need to speak to an attorney. A lawyer can help ensure that you are not unfairly denied your benefits due to an error or mistake in the paperwork.
Are Federal Workers’ Compensation Benefits the Same as State Benefits?
Public sector jobs include both state and federal work. If you are employed through the United States government (federal), you are likely covered under their workers’ compensation system. The federal workers’ compensation program is handled through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP).
Federal workers’ compensation benefits work similarly to state workers’ comp benefits, but you should still consult with an attorney before applying. Benefits at both levels are routinely denied or delayed. You could wait months to receive the benefits you are entitled to after an illness or injury at work. In order to start on the road to recovery, you need to consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible.
What Type of Benefits Will I Receive?
Workers’ compensation benefits may include several types of compensation. The amount you are eligible to receive will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injury and whether you are able to return to work.
Workers’ compensation benefits may include compensation related to:
- Disability - If your injury resulted in a permanent or temporary disability, you may be entitled to disability benefits.
- Rehabilitation - Michigan law allows workers who cannot return to their previous position to receive compensation for any vocational rehabilitation that they need to obtain.
- Medical bills - Michigan workers’ compensation law entitles an employee who is injured on the job to all “reasonable and necessary medical care.” Reasonable and necessary medical care includes but is not limited to surgeries, hospitalizations, and dental services required as a result of the injury. You may also be entitled to compensation for your chiropractic treatments and nursing care.
- Wage-loss benefits - You may be entitled to wage-loss benefits or weekly compensation benefits. Generally, you will receive 80% of your net average weekly pay, up to a certain amount.
- Specific loss - If you suffer the loss of an extremity or other body part, you may be eligible to receive specific loss benefits.
- Death benefits - In the devastating event that you lose a loved one in a job-related injury or accident, you may be eligible for death benefits to help cover funeral and burial expenses.
In order to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits, you need to speak with an experienced attorney. Workers’ compensation for public sector employees can be complicated. An experienced Michigan workers' compensation attorney can help determine the best course of action.
How Do I Know If I Am Covered?
According to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the Workers Compensation Disability Act protects workers who suffer injuries that “arise out of and in the course of employment.”
Contact Our Office to Learn More
Were you injured on the job while working in the public sector in Ypsilanti, MI, or the surrounding communities? Contact our office to learn how we can help.