When you arrive at work each day, you expect everything will be business as usual. However, if you get injured on the job, your world may turn upside down. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, you may find yourself facing an extended period of medical treatment, all of which will be quite expensive. Along with this, your injuries will likely keep you out of work for weeks or months, putting you and your family in financial difficulty. To help in these matters, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. But since these laws vary from state to state, it is important to know what you can expect during the process. If you want to know which states have the best workers’ compensation laws, here are some that are employee-friendly.
If you are a worker who is injured on the job and in need of immediate compensation, California is your state. Very partial to its injured workers, California requires a statutory waiting period of only three days after being injured before workers are able to claim disability benefits.
When you have been seriously injured on your job and expect to be off from work for many weeks or months, one of the biggest worries you may have is wondering if your benefits will run out before you may be able to go back to work. However, if you live in Wisconsin, you probably won’t have this to worry about. If you are determined by doctors to have a temporary total disability that will keep you from working, Wisconsin allows you up to 1,000 weeks of temporary total disability benefits.
While Alaska is known for its beautiful scenery and wilderness, it is also known as one of the best states for employees who file workers’ compensation claims. This is particularly evident when it comes to the amount of the benefit payment an injured worker can draw from their workers’ comp benefits. Since this payment is based on a percentage of the employee’s income prior to the injury, this can be crucial for an employee and their family to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Thus, in Alaska, an injured worker is entitled to 80 percent of their spendable weekly wage, which is far better than the national average of only 66 percent.
For employers in North Dakota who are concerned about how much their workers’ comp premiums may be, they have little to worry about. According to industry statistics, North Dakota employers pay the lowest rates for their premiums per $100 of payroll, averaging only about $1. This is important, since this makes it much easier for businesses to carry workers’ comp insurance for their employees.
When a worker is injured on the job, it is best if they file a workers’ comp claim as soon as possible. Yet in some circumstances, an injured worker may instead choose to file a personal injury lawsuit or may be able to pursue both at the same time. In Maine, a worker who is injured and chooses to pursue a personal injury lawsuit has a distinct advantage, since the state offers a six-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
As for the maximum amount of payment an injured worker can receive each week through workers’ compensation, Iowa tops the list. Offering its injured workers slightly more than $1,100 per week, workers in Iowa are able to maintain a reasonable standard of living until able to return to work.
While the above-mentioned states are very friendly in terms of their workers’ compensation laws, others states are also considered very good, such as Illinois, Georgia, and New Jersey. Yet since laws vary from state to state, it is always recommended injured workers consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney when facing these situations to ensure their rights are protected from start to finish.