Workplace accidents do not happen in a bubble. This means that those who suffer serious workplace injuries are usually not the only ones affected by these types of accidents. Family members of workers who have been injured or even killed on the job in Missouri often struggle with the financial and emotional fallout, too.
Who is footing the bill?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA — injured workers and their families generally bear the brunt of costs associated with work injuries and deaths. Current estimates say that as much as 50% of related costs are paid completely out of pocket. The remainder of costs are covered by:
- 21% workers’ compensation
- 16% government sources, like taxpayer supported safety net programs
- 13% private health insurance
Loss of opportunity is pretty common when dealing with financial stress. The average injured worker loses approximately $31,000 in the 10 years following the injuries, amounting to about a 15% loss in wages. Not only is there loss of opportunity when it comes to earning potential, but also when it comes to affording an education for either one’s self or children.
Whether minor or severe, workplace injuries have the power to completely alter the course of a person’s future. Surviving becomes about more than just treating the injury, but also about one’s ability to afford that treatment. This is why it is so important for victims to explore their options for benefits through Missouri’s workers’ compensation system in as timely a manner as possible.