There’s no doubting that Hawaii is a beautiful place to live, especially as it’s situated in the Pacific Ocean. Whilst it has a high cost of living, it’s the third most prosperous state in the US. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that so many people choose to work here.
Accidents are unfortunately a part of our everyday lives. They can happen whilst we are at leisure or work. When they are business-related, we must follow the correct procedures. This is to ensure that any financial benefits can be paid. Perhaps you live in Hawaii and this very thing has just occurred. Let’s talk about what you need to do next.
Tell Someone What Has Happened
The official requirements are that this is done either orally or in writing. If you decide to speak to someone, it will need to be either your supervisor or manager. Give them the full details of the date and time the injury was sustained, and explain exactly what happened.
Should your employer deny responsibility, you should contact the DCD (Disability Compensation Division) office that is nearest to you. Secondly, you may wish to appoint a personal injury lawyer to become your legal advocate. It’s possible to learn from the specialist site www.recoverylawcenterhawaii.com that many attorneys offer free consultations and video chats. They often have a ‘no win no fee’ policy too. Before choosing a professional it’s worth checking their site for any legal accreditations and affiliations (eg Top Lawyers or Naopia) and to discover their field of expertise.
Get Medical Attention
When people are seriously injured they will often end up in emergency rooms. Where a medical condition is not life-threatening they may go to an urgent care clinic. The internet contains several websites revealing where help can be found – often including maps and other travel information. People are also advised to check the languages spoken, due to the diversity in Hawaii.
You can select the doctor of your choice, but not all will wish to be involved in industrial injury cases. If you are accepted, advise them to send all the medical reports and invoices to your business’s insurance company.
You’ll be referred to a medical specialist. They will conduct additional tests and compile their report. Should you be unhappy with your doctor, advise your employer’s insurance company before taking any further action.
Wait For Your Employer To Act
Once you’ve told them, they have one week to notify the DCD and they’ll need to lodge a form WC-1 (‘Employers’ Report of Industrial Injury/Illness’) as your injury will be keeping you off work for more than a day.
You should later receive a copy of the completed WC-1. Should this not be forthcoming, notify the DCD.
Seek Workers’ Compensation (WC) Payments
Whether you work part or full time, most jobs cover you under this scheme. If you aren’t covered, speak to Honolulu’s Investigation Section, or the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations District Office on your nearest island.
Should you successfully receive WC benefits they will cover the fees for your being in hospital and receiving treatment. Any medication you are prescribed or X-rays you receive will also be covered. You can also claim for chiropractor or physiotherapist referrals, and be remunerated for reasonable travel expenses.
Understand The Various Benefits Available
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) covers your loss of earnings while you are recovering and receiving medical treatment. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) applies to people who have sustained irreparable damage to a limited part of their body. Permanent Total Disability (PTD) supports those who will never be able to return to work. Disfigurement benefits apply to bodies visibly damaged as a result of lacerations or surgery.
Vocational Rehabilitation can be paid for in some circumstances, to assist people who need a change in the job following their injury. For those who are even less fortunate, Death Benefits may be paid to remaining spouses and minors.
Many people are content to accept the benefits they receive. In some cases, however, they request a hearing. Further down the line, they could file a notice of appeal if they were still unhappy with the financial outcome. As we have said, personal injury lawyers can play a vital part when there are issues over financial claims.
Once the matter has been resolved, you will hopefully be financially aided as you receive your medical treatment. For those who make a partial or full recovery from their injury, a new chapter of life will begin.