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Answering Your Questions About Workers’ Compensation In Delaware

Trying to secure workers’ compensation benefits for you or a loved one? Feeling overwhelmed or confused about the process? You’re not alone.

Throughout Delaware, injured factory workers, nurses, construction workers, traffic controllers and other workers are struggling with their petitions, hearings or appeals. I know because I’ve helped many of them.

I’m attorney Joe Stanley of Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, P.A. I have years of experience with workers’ compensation matters, and I’m ready to put my insight to work for you. I want you to be armed with knowledge when you’re filing for benefits, so I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked workers’ comp questions below.

Please read them, and don’t hesitate to call 302-549-0037 if you need other information.

I’m worried about losing my job if I file for benefits. Can my boss fire me for filing a claim?

No. Most workers are entitled to receive benefits from their employer or employer’s insurance provider. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for applying for benefits.

If I file for benefits, does that mean that I’m suing my employer?

No. When you file for benefits, you are submitting a claim for benefits that will be paid out by an insurance policy. Most employers are required to carry insurance for this reason.

How much is my claim worth?

The benefits you may be entitled to receive depend on a variety of factors that include the severity of your injury or illness, and how your condition affects your ability to work in the future. If you click on this link, you can learn more about the types of benefits you may be able to receive.

Why do I need to see a doctor after my accident?

Before you will receive benefits, you’ll need to prove that you qualify for compensation. Insurers won’t trust your word alone or the word of an unapproved doctor. You’ll need to see a doctor in your insurance provider’s network. Contact me if you don’t know how to find this information. I can help.

How long do I have to file a claim?

Before workers can file a claim for benefits, they must notify their employer within 10 days of the accident. After they notify their employer, they need to file a claim within 90 days. Workers who are filing a claim for work-related diseases have a year to file.

Failing to meet Delaware’s deadlines can put your benefits in jeopardy, leaving you on the hook to cover your medical expenses. If you are uncertain about state-imposed deadlines, contact me for more information.

Why should I have an attorney review my settlement offer before I sign it?

Your injuries may require long-term medical care, which should be included in your agreement. If it doesn’t, your employer or its insurer won’t be responsible for paying the resulting medical bills. You will be.

A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can review the terms of your agreement and determine whether they promote your best interests. If they don’t, your attorney can negotiate for better terms.

The insurance company is asking me to sign a medical release form. Should I?

Do not sign these forms. If you do, you could severely limit the benefits you receive. You should have a lawyer review any correspondence you receive from your employer or its insurer. The legal documents that they ask you to sign often include unfavorable terms that can have serious financial consequences.

I am familiar with the tactics and the terminology insurers use to limit their financial obligations. Contact me for assistance.

Do I need to be a full-time employee to receive benefits?

No. Seasonal, part-time and full-time employees are all eligible to receive benefits from the first day of their employment. Contractors may be covered by their agency’s insurance policies.

If you don’t know whom to contact to begin the filing process, I can point you in the right direction. Contact me to learn more.

Are preexisting injuries covered by workers’ compensation?

If your preexisting injury was aggravated by a work-related task, you may be entitled to receive benefits. Establishing a strong claim for this type of situation can be complicated, but I can help you present compelling evidence.

Are heart attacks and strokes covered by workers’ compensation?

Yes. Stress and other work-related factors that can contribute to these conditions are covered. If you are uncertain whether you can file for benefits for a certain disease or condition, contact me for advice. I will give you an honest assessment of your benefits options so you know what you may qualify to receive.

If I am hurt off-site, will my injuries be covered?

Your injuries should be covered if you are involved in a car accident or any other off-site accident while performing a job-related task.

If I am injured by a contractor or a defective piece of machinery on-site, what are my options?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may be able to file a third-party claim. Please read my personal injury page for more information.

I was engaging in horseplay at work. Will my injuries be covered?

No. Workers’ compensation benefits are provided to workers injured during a work-sanctioned or work-related activity.

Do You Have Other Questions? Get Answers Today.

You can reach me easily online or over the phone at 302-549-0037 to discuss your situation. I offer free initial consultations, so you don’t have to worry about paying legal fees to talk to a qualified lawyer. Get in touch today.