If you are injured on the job in the state of Delaware, in the course and scope of your employment, you may be entitled to receive the following benefits. These benefits are per Delaware Workers Compensation statute Title 19, Chapter 23 Delaware code.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
TTD is weekly financial reimbursement based on your current gross weekly wage or two-thirds of your gross weekly wage up to the maximum comp rate in Delaware for that year. Your claim should be reported by your employer to their insurance company and an adjuster will be assigned and work on your case. Agreements as to Compensation should be completed and should be reviewed by an attorney prior to the claimant signing them. It is important that correct workers compensation rate and gross weekly wage are correct. This amount will follow you for the remainder of your claim.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
If your physician determines that you are not totally disabled, and if you are working part-time, you are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. If you are working a full-time and injured you are still entitled to receive payment of your medical bills.
Be mindful when attending initial doctor’s appointment that you keep the appointment, are on time, and give a detailed description of how your injury occurred and what parts of your body were injured. We would suggest that you begin with the top of your head and move to the bottom of your toes so that each and every body part injured is included, not forgotten and documented by your physician. Remember, if you describe your injury incorrectly to your physician, problems could occur in your claim and might not be considered causally connected to your injury.
Your Rights to Workers’ Compensation
Prompt payment of your medical bills will be issued based on your physician’s description of your injury or injuries. Your doctor will keep records narrating the description of your injury. Payment of medical prescriptions related to your injury is also a benefit, as is durable medical equipment (i.e., wheelchair, walker, ramp into house).
The right to be compensated for any partial permanent impairment you may have received as part of your ongoing injury is also a benefit. Typically, doctors in the state of Delaware will not consider an injury as permanent until one year from the date of accident. This benefit will be a lump sum based upon your original compensation rate. There is only one exception to this rule: if you are at a maximum comp rate at the time of your injury. You would receive a lump sum based upon your original worker’s compensation rate if your partial permanent impairment is assessed.
Right to Dispute Claims
Agreements as to Compensation must be executed by the worker and the insurance carrier, then filed with the Industrial Accident Board (IAB). The remedy for disputed claims is governed by the Industrial Accident Board. A claimant my file a petition to be heard in front of the Board up to approximately a 4 month period of waiting after filing. If you attempt to file a petition on your own, the Industrial Accident Board will strongly suggest you obtain an attorney and may suggest some names.
Other Important Legal Nuances
- There is no pain and suffering claim under the workers compensation statute, i.e., car accident, slip & fall injuries or other personal injuries.
- A claimant may be reimbursed for mileage to and from doctor appointments. The rate is currently $0.40/mile.
- An injured worker cannot sue their employer unless it is determined that a third party was responsible for the injury. This is often the case in construction accidents where a claimant is injured and an independent contractor on the site was the cause of that negligence.