Report Your Injury
You must immediately report any injury or occupational illness to your supervisor or the representative designated by your employer. When do you report? When you have the accident, not when you think your medical condition is not getting better. When? NOW. Employees who fail to notify the employer of a work injury promptly may jeopardize their ability to receive benefits. Put the report in writing telling the supervisor or representative, the how, what, where and when the injury or occupational disease occurred. Keep a copy for your records and note on the copy who you gave it to, the date and time. It is a good idea to review the statement with an attorney.

The Second Injury Fund
Additional benefits may be available from the Second Injury Fund. The Second Injury Fund compensates an injured worker when his or her current injury combines with a prior disability to create an increased combined disability. The purpose of the Second Injury Fund is to encourage employers to hire employees who have disabilities. The prior disability need not have been work related.

The basic concept is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

For Example: In 2003, a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffers a knee injury resulting in a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) of the right knee which is repaired surgically.

In 2010, the same person is injured on the job and suffers an ankle injury requiring surgery to his left ankle.

This person now has a bad right knee and a bad left ankle. The total disability this person has is greater than simply the sum of the two disabilities. There is an enhancement over the sum of the two disabilities and it is possible compensation from the Second Injury Fund can be obtained.

The injured employee in order to obtain compensation from the Second Injury Fund must file a proper claim in a timely manner making the claim against the Second Injury Fund.

There are guidelines adopted by the Second Injury Fund in order to receive compensation: the disabilities must be at least 15% of an extremity or 12.5% of the body as a whole. When the current injury is rated, the prior disability can also be rated if it has not been previously rated.

In addition, the permanent pre-existing disability must be of such seriousness as to constitute a hindrance or obstacle to employment.

The Second Injury Fund also pays if you have a disability that is so great you cannot work at any job and it is not the last injury standing alone that led to the situation where you cannot work.

The Second Injury Fund also covers wage loss benefits from a second job. If you work part time for two employers, the employer who you were working for at the time of the accident is only obligated to pay you based on your wages or salary from that job.


Copyright © Dean Law Office LLC, 2010

Margaret Dean 816-753-3100