When we think about the type of accidents that happen at work, we often think of job-related injuries. Individuals who work in construction may suffer injuries from falling off ladders; people who work in old industrial plants may get asbestosis; and individuals who work at desks all day are more likely to suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome.
In many states, including Ohio, even accidents that are completely unrelated to an individual’s profession may be covered by workers’ compensation if the accident happened while the individual was working. That is good news for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her employees who were injured in the January 8th shooting.
Because the three individuals were injured while they working, their medical expenses are being paid by federal workers’ compensation benefits. The federal program provides compensation for any injuries that are sustained while an individual is working, and it provides wrongful death benefits to families whose loved ones are killed.
The compensation benefits do not just include lost wage benefits or the initial hospital costs. Individuals may receive compensation for any medical care that is “likely to cure, give relief [and] reduce the degree or the period of disability…for as long as residuals of an injury continue.”
Thankfully, there is no cap on the amount of medical benefits an individual may receive. Intensive rehabilitation programs, such as therapy which Giffords is undergoing, can cost anywhere from $600 to $8,000 daily. Even outpatient programs still cost as much as $1,000 a day. Although the price tag is steep, rehabilitative therapy is critical for individuals who have suffered brain injuries, and workers’ compensation benefits can help ensure individuals receive the treatment they need.
Source: Arizona Daily Star, “US workers’ comp covers Giffords’, others’ care,” Stephanie Innes, 13 March 2011