Experienced advocacy for injured Wilmington employees
Wilmington is home to many of the industries that keep Delaware running. National healthcare facilities, and financial companies as well as state-run institutions, like schools, are all headquartered in Wilmington. Workers at these companies and the city’s many restaurants, hotels, construction sites, and other businesses are at constant risk of injuries. For workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck, just missing one paycheck can be a nightmare.
Employees who are injured or suffer an occupational illness while doing their job have the right to expect that their employer will pay their medical bills. Delaware state law provides that workers are entitled to temporary disability benefits while they are seeking medical care. Workers with permanent injuries are often entitled to permanent disability benefits.
The Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman understand how traumatic it is when your injuries prevent you from doing your job. We have 100 years of combined experience fighting for injured and ill employees. We’re ready for all the tricks and strategies insurance companies use to try to deny your claim. Our lawyers are the firm you can trust to protect your right to medical care, wage loss compensation, and any other benefits such as vocational benefits the state workers’ compensation law allows.
- Who do our Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers represent?
- What are the common causes of workplace injuries in Wilmington?
- What types of injuries do Wilmington workers suffer?
- What is an occupational illness?
- Which workers are covered by workers’ compensation in Wilmington?
- What medical benefits can an injured or ill Wilmington employee claim?
- How do wage loss benefits work?
Who do our Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers represent?
Silverman, McDonald & Friedman represents all employees who were injured in their course of their job duties. Whether your work for a large employer like the state of Delaware or DuPont, or a smaller local business, we have the experience and resources to help you get justice. We work with a broad range of specialists who handle workers injured in industrial accidents, construction accidents, and retail accidents. We represent people who make deliveries for a living, nurses, servers, and employees who provide community services. Our Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers often assist employees who work in:
- Government services
- Warehousing and transportation
- All other work sectors
Our lawyers represent injured workers, workers with an occupational illness, the families of deceased workers, and workers covered under FELA. Some of our many success stories include:
- A $1,250,000 lump-sum settlement for a worker who injured her liver and spleen in a work accident.
- A $638,152 settlement for a worker injured at work in an automobile accident with injuries to his neck, back, and spleen.
- Over $400,000 in benefits awarded after two appeals to the Supreme Court for an injured worker in a first ever case in Delaware finding Mycobacterial Avium Complex and resulting lung operations related to work exposure.
What are the common causes of workplace injuries in Wilmington?
The most important thing to note is that fault is not part of your workers’ compensation claim. You do not need to prove that that employer was negligent. Even if you were careless, you should be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Some of the many causes of workplace injuries include:
- Many accidents occur when workers are tired. Workers should be encouraged to take regular breaks. While long shifts pay more, they can lead to more accidents. Fatigue makes it easier to pull a muscle, wrench a back, or drop an object. Fatigue leads to mental mistakes in addition to physical stress.
- Not handling objects properly. Many workplace injuries occur when a worker is lifting, pulling, carrying, or pushing an object. Often, other tools and other workers can help reduce the risk of these types of accidents. Workers should understand the proper way to lift and move objects.
- Any worker can trip over a loose object or a broken tile or slip and fall on a wet surface. Some workers such as construction workers are likely to fall from scaffolds, ladders, and high heights.
- Being struck by an object. Merchandise, tools, or equipment that falls on a worker can cause head trauma and other serious injuries.
- Being pinned by an object. Warehouse workers and many other workers who work near heavy machines such as forklifts may be pinned or struck by the equipment.
- Construction workers, agricultural workers, and anyone who works outside may suffer heatstroke or other health problems due to a lack of hydration.
- Poor lighting. Workers who can’t see where they are walking or where they are working are susceptible to falls and other accidents.
- Workplace stress can cause a worker to lose his/her focus which can easily cause an accident.
- Dangerous exposures. Healthcare workers are at constant risk of a dangerous infection. Workers who work with dangerous chemicals may suffer skin or lung disorders if the toxin spills onto their skin, or they breathe in the toxins.
Workplace accidents may also be due to contact with electricity, vehicle accidents, defective equipment, poor training, workplace violence, and many other causes.
What types of injuries do Wilmington workers suffer?
At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we represent workers who have any type of injury. We work with your doctors and independent doctors to verify your diagnosis and understand the full range of medical care you will need. Some of the many types of workplace injuries our clients have sustained include:
What is an occupational illness?
Delaware authorizes workers’ compensation benefits for employees who cannot work due to an occupational illness. We’ll explain if you qualify. Generally, to qualify for workers’ compensation based on an occupational illness, employees must:
- Show that they were exposed to the disease because of their employment,
- The disease is specific to an industry or job category, and/or
- The disease is not common to the general public.
Common occupational diseases include respiratory diseases, certain skin diseases, hearing loss, repetitive stress disorders, and back pain.
Which workers are covered by workers’ compensation in Wilmington?
Most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation – whether you work for a for-profit business, a non-profit, a large employer, or even most small employers. Some exceptions may apply depending on the type of work you do. Some employees such as corporate executives may opt-out of workers’ compensation, often because they have some type of disability insurance.
One key question our lawyers hear is, “Can I receive workers’ compensation if I’m an independent contractor?” Generally, the answer is no. Workers’ compensation is for employees and not independent contractors. However, you should not assume that you are an independent contractor just because your employer says you are. Many workers who are labeled by their employer as independent contractors are indeed employees.
What medical benefits can an injured or ill Wilmington employee claim?
Injured or ill employees have the right to payment for their medical care, for as long as they need the care. This means the employer must pay for the medical care you need to maximize your health, and the medical care you need to help ensure your condition doesn’t worsen. In some cases, an employer may be required to pay for medical care for the rest of your life.
Medical care includes ER care, hospitalizations, and treatment with specialists. Specialists in work injury cases often include orthopedists, neurologists, and pain management doctors, and other doctors depending on your condition. Medical care also includes all the therapy you need. Therapy includes physical, vocational, occupational, rehabilitation, speech, psychological, and other types of therapy. Medical care may include chiropractor care. Employers must also pay for your medications.
Many injured workers require assistive devices. These devices include prosthetics, computer software, wheelchairs, and many other devices. Your employer’s insurance company should pay for these devices and the replacements and improvements you will need.
Employees normally begin their medical treatment by choosing from a list of healthcare providers provided by the employer. If the medical care is not helping you, our skilled Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers explain when and how you can switch to doctors of your choosing. In some cases, you may need to undergo an independent medical exam (IME) to switch doctors. Employers may also request an IME in some cases.
How do wage loss benefits work?
Injured or ill employees are generally entitled to a sizeable portion of the average weekly wages if they cannot work due to a workplace accident or an occupational illness. Work loss benefits are paid as follows in Wilmington:
- Temporary wage loss benefits. Workers have the right to 2/3 of their average weekly wage (subject to caps and other conditions) for as long as they are seeking medical care to improve their health. We work to ensure you are receiving the correct amount. We also fight on your behalf when employers try to say your health has fully improved when you are still seeing your healthcare providers.
- Permanent wage loss benefits (partial and specific loss benefits). In Delaware, an evaluation of your health is made when you have reached maximum medical improvement (the time when additional medical care is not likely to improve your health). The evaluation determines what type of injury/illness you have and the severity (called an impairment rating) of your condition.
- If you have a partial disability, then you are entitled to additional payments which are adjusted based on any reduced income you have. Partial disability benefits are payable up to 300 weeks, according to the Delaware Department of Labor.
- If you have a total disability, then you may be entitled to additional payments based on the specific type of injury you have and your impairment rating. “Benefits are based upon a percentage of certain ‘scheduled’ or ‘nonscheduled’ losses. A ‘scheduled’ loss is one involving arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, and ears. A ‘nonscheduled’ loss is one involving the back, heart, lungs, etc. We’ll explain how much you can claim.
- Disfigurement benefits. Employees, after a one-year waiting period, can seek additional payments for any scar, burn, or amputation related to the work accident. Disfigurement payments are payable based on the severity of the scar for up to 150 weeks.
- Death Benefits. Death benefits include up to $3,500 in funeral reimbursement. Wage benefits (up to 80% of the maximum rate set by the Delaware Department of Labor) are payable to the dependents. Children are considered dependents until age 18 or if a child is a full-time student – up to the age of 25. Children with special needs may be eligible for additional benefits.
Wilmington employees who are injured or become ill through work may also be entitled to vocational benefits so they can learn new skills or be educated for a less strenuous job.
Do you have workers’ compensation lawyers near me in Delaware?
Our Wilmington office is located at 1010 N Bancroft Pkwy. We also have offices in Seaford and Newark. If you cannot come to our office, we’ll arrange to see you wherever you are.
Talk with a respected Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyer today
The insurance company for the employer will do everything possible to force you back to work before you are healthy, and contest your right to medical and wage loss benefits. You need quality healthcare, not doctors who aren’t on your side. You need all the income you lose to pay your bills. At Silverman, McDonald, & Friedman, we’re on your side. We’ll explain your rights and fight for every dollar you deserve. Please call 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.