A patient with a foot injuryWhen someone injures you, you can usually file a lawsuit. However, if you are injured on the job, workers' compensation protects your employer from lawsuits. It also provides you with money to help pay your medical bills. Before you file your claim, however, check out these five workers' compensation terms you should know.

Alternative Work

After your injury, you may be able to return to your normal job after treatment and healing time. However, many injuries restrict you from returning to your old job. For example, a back injury could forbid you from lifting heavy items. However, the back injury won't hinder your ability to do other tasks, such as using a computer.

If this is the case, you are a qualified injured worker. You have an injury, but it doesn't prevent you from doing other jobs. As a result, your employer may offer you a different position within the company. The exact duration of the job and wages are regulated by state.


Compensation refers to money you receive after the injury. After an injury, the insurance carrier's job is to make you whole again by providing money for medical bills related to the accident. Workers' compensation usually only includes your medical bills and some lost wages.

Unfortunately, your injuries may be long-lasting, causing long-term physical or mental pain, and workers' compensation doesn't typically pay for this, unless you can prove you are permanently disabled.

Date of Injury

The date of the injury is important for many reasons. First, you need to know exactly when you were injured because you face a time limit for reporting the injury. If you wait too long, you won't get to file a claim. Even if you report it before the time limit, waiting to report the accident makes it look less serious.

The date of injury is easy to determine if a single accident caused the injury, but some injuries are caused by repeated wear and tear. If your injury was caused by wear and tear, the date of injury is the day you realized the job was causing you injury.

Independent Medical Evaluator

An independent medical evaluator is just a fancy term for a doctor the insurance carrier insists you visit. This is to prevent people from working with corrupt doctors to create fake injury claims. Using an independent medical evaluator is a good idea, even if the insurance carrier doesn't insist, because it proves you also want unbiased results.

In many cases, your claim will automatically denied if you refuse to use a doctor provided by the insurance carrier. Of course, you don't need to wait for them to assign an independent medical evaluator before you seek medical help. In fact, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Permanent Disability Rating

After the injury, you may be permanently disabled, which means you'll be assigned a permanent disability rating. This measures the severity of the disability: the more severe, the bigger the settlement. Your doctor and attorney may also use the terms permanent total disability, if you will never be able to work in labor again.

A permanent partial disability allows you to continue to do some labor work, but because of the injury, your chances of landing a job in the future are reduced. If you do have permanent disability, your attorney will speak with you about permanent disability benefits.

After a work-related injury, you can file a workers' compensation claim, but it may only cover your medical bills and partial income. If you have long-term injuries, however, you need help fighting for your fair settlement. If you would like to know more, contact us at Palmetto Injury Lawyers today.

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