What benefits are typically available under workers' compensation?
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There are three major components to workers' compensation:
(1) Medical Expense - the cost for hospitals, doctors, medical treatment, etc. Some programs permit the injured worker to select a medical provider of his or her own choice. Some States have a closed panel system that requires an employee to seek medical attention from a medical provider chosen by the employer or the employer's insurance company.
(2) Disability Pay - either temporary while you are getting back to normal, or permanent if you will never fully recover. The amount varies, but it can be as high as one-half to two-thirds of your normal pay.
(3) Vocational Rehabilitation - if your injury renders you unable to perform the usual duties of your occupation, you may need re-training so that you can enter into a new trade or business. Also, you may need physical therapy to get your normal strength back.
Since workers' compensation imposes strict liability without inquiry into fault, an employer could be penalized where its conduct was egregious - violation of federal or state safety standards, failure to correct known defects or other conduct - situations where there is a need to punish and deter such conduct in the future.