Chemical burns are one of the most severe types of work injuries. They cause just as much injury to the flesh and muscles as burns from fire or heat, but because the burns are caused by chemicals, there are other issues relating to treatment and the healing process. Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict protocols, regulations, and procedures that employees and employers are required to follow in working with and handling chemicals, there are still hundreds of employees seriously injured by chemical burns every year.
Chemical burns can be so serious that they often cause significant disability and require an extensive healing process. This is why it is very important to make sure that if there is a work-related chemical burn, the injured employee is receiving all of the Workers’ Compensation benefits that they are entitled to. The best way to ensure this is to hire a skilled and knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation attorney to make sure everything is done correctly and that the injured employee is fully Compensated
What Worker’s Compensation Benefits Am I Entitled To?
If you have been seriously injured at work due to a chemical burn and it has prevented you from doing your time of injury job, you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. First, all of your medical bills in relation to the work injury and its treatment will be covered by the Workers’ Compensation insurance company. Second, if you lose time from work and lose wages, you will be entitled to Workers’ Compensation wage benefits. Every week that you are off of work due to your work injury, you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly gross wages, up to a maximum amount that is set yearly. “Gross wages” refers to the wages that you receive before taxes are taken out. The current maximum wage benefit you can receive, regardless of how much money you made pre-injury, is $797.96, for the year 2021-2022. This maximum weekly benefit amount will be updated in July 2022.
You could receive this wage check for every week that you are off work due to restrictions caused by the chemical burn work injury. If you were to return to work on limited duty based upon the physical restrictions, and you are earning less than your pre-injury average weekly gross wages, then you will be entitled to a partial wage check every week that you were on limited duty and not receiving your full pre-injury wages.
Another type of workers’ comp benefit that an injured employee might see if they suffered from a chemical burn is disfigurement benefits. If an employee suffers scarring caused by work, they can get a set amount of wage benefits even if the scarring does not prevent them from working. In order to receive scarring and disfigurement benefits under the Delaware code the disfigurement must be visible and offensive when the body is clothed normally. This benefit may be paid out for up to 150 weeks, depending on the severity of the disfiguring injury. The amount you will be paid is two-thirds of your average weekly gross wages.
What Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Do For You?
With many work-related injuries, your employer and the Workers’ Compensation insurance company will often act like they have your best interest in mind. However, in many cases this is not the case. The Workers’ Compensation adjuster is not your friend. If they spot any way to manipulate the claim in order to deny your benefits or to pay you less benefits, they will take that opportunity. That is their job that they get paid to do. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that you have a skilled and competent Workers’ Compensation lawyer on your side fighting for your rights. A good Workers’ Compensation attorney will be able to do the following:
- Be a conduit between you and the Workers’ Compensation insurance company so that you do not have to deal with phone calls and meetings and conversations with people that do not have your best interest in mind;
- Make sure that all of your work-related injury medical bills are being properly submitted to the Workers’ Compensation insurance company for payment and resolve any issues that may arise if there is a problem;
- Make sure that you are being paid the correct weekly wage benefits and that the Workers’ Compensation adjuster is performing the correct calculations. If the workers’ comp adjuster fails to pay you the correct amount and refuses to fix the problem, your attorney will file a claim and have the issue resolved by a judge;
- If there is a dispute on the claim, your Delaware workers’ comp lawyer would be able to file the necessary petitions to get the claim in front of the Workers’ Compensation judge in order to make a decision and get the dispute resolved. Your lawyer will be able to gather all of the evidence and present witness testimony, including evidence and testimony from your medical doctor, that supports your work injury; and
- If and when the time comes, your workers’ comp lawyer will be able to negotiate a lump sum settlement amount with the Workers’ Compensation insurance company and their adjuster. A lump sum settlement is not appropriate for every Delaware Workers’ Comp case, but if you and your lawyer decide it is best for you, your lawyer can begin negotiating a settlement that is in your best interest.
The New Castle Work Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Have Been Helping Delaware Employee Obtain Full and Just Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Over 30 Years
If you have suffered from a serious work-related chemical burn, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. The New Castle work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have been fighting for the rights of injured Delaware employees for over 30 years. Call us today at (302) 600-1107 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.