Workers Comp Indemnity Claims from Workers Compensation Attorneys
The word “indemnity” means protection from some type of loss or financial burden. In the context of workers’ compensation benefits, the employee is the one who is insured against such loss in case he or she is injured on the job. California law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is essentially a no-fault insurance for employees.
This means that if you get injured on the job, you are eligible to receive medical benefits and compensation for loss of income, disabilities and vocational rehabilitation regardless of who was at fault for the accident. When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, there are two components: Cash payments for lost time known as indemnity costs and payments for the injured worker’s medical care.
Understanding Indemnity Claims
An indemnity claim typically involves a significant amount of time away from work. In such cases, we often see that workers require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment. In other words, they are physically unable to perform their job duties. Workers’ compensation insurance pays injured workers a portion of their wages with maximum and minimum levels set by the state’s average weekly wage when work time is lost due to injury.
This includes payments made to families of workers who suffer fatal injuries on the job. In case of permanent injuries, for example, when a worker has suffered a catastrophic injury such as limb amputations or loss of sight, he or she will continue to get disability payments until his or her condition becomes stable. Once the doctor makes a determination that the worker’s condition is stable, the insurance carrier will offer a monetary settlement for loss of wages as well as any future medical expenses.
What You Need to Know
California is seeing a rise in indemnity payments. A recent study performed by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute found that indemnity payments statewide in workers’ compensation cases have seen their greatest increase in about 10 years. Particularly with crises such as the opioid epidemic, other states are also expected to experience a rise in indemnity payments.
The severity of your injury will affect your indemnity payments. So, the more severe your on-the-job injury, the greater the likelihood of you receiving indemnity payments for a longer period of time. Recent statistics show that while the frequency of claims has declined over the last decade, the severity of claims has become greater.
Injured workers also typically get relief from federal and state taxes when it comes to earnings from indemnity payments that are directly related to workers’ compensation. The new tax laws going into effect this year do not change much when it comes to workers’ compensation including indemnity payments. In fact, if you are an injured worker receiving taxable interest on delayed indemnity payments, you may actually owe less in taxes due to decreases in tax rates and the rising standard deduction.
If you have been injured on the job and have questions regarding indemnity payments, our experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorneys can help provide you with more information. We are here to fight for your rights and help you secure the compensation you need and rightfully deserve.