According to Insurance Information Institute, workers compensation insurance serves two purposes: it assures that injured workers get medical care and compensation for a portion of the income they lose while they are unable to return to work and it usually protects employers from lawsuits by workers injured while working.
It is with this information that we look at what exactly the purpose of workers compensation serves and how if affects employees and employers.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, five groups cover employees for Workers Compensation “under the relevant statutes and regulations by mitigating the financial burden resulting from a workplace injury. Individuals injured on the job while employed by private companies or state and local government agencies.”
It is essential for employees to know the specific coverage in these programs that apply to them or inquire at their state workers’ compensation board.
If there is a legal matter involved in eligibility for Worker’s Compensation, such as a workplace injury due to negligence to comply with regulations, seek a lawyer with Workers Compensation experience.
Benefits for Employees of Worker’s Compensation
Worker’s compensation is a benefit for federal and private sector employees. Benefits include:
. Wage loss compensation
. Medical cost coverage
. Death benefits
. Right to sue third parties.
Injuries That are Covered
According to Insurance Information Institute, “injuries employees sustain on the workplace premises or anywhere else while the employee is acting in the ‘course and scope’ of employment are covered if their employer has workers comp insurance.”
If you are sitting at your desk and get electrocuted, you are covered as long as your employer is insured. If you fall while delivering a package, that constitutes coverage under workers compensation laws. Did you know that if other events such as natural disasters happen, you will still be covered by workers compensation? Along with natural disasters, certain illnesses and occupational diseases contracted as a result of employment are covered, as well. If you work with chemicals or other toxic material, you would be entitled to workers compensation if you are injured.
Worker’s compensation is a benefit that requires accurate documentation of workplace injuries and knowledge of how to file a claim, so employees are compensated according to the nature of the injury.
Five Shocking Revelations Tied to Worker’s Compensation
These revelations include:
. Loss of right to sue in exchange for benefits
. Employers Non Compliance with Workers Compensation
. Employee responsibility for legal costs related to disputes over pain and suffering
. Difficulty enforcing workers compensation laws
. Variability of state laws regarding eligibility and payment of Worker’s Compensation
Loss of Right to Sue
After Worker’s Compensations claims are filed and submitted, employees cannot sue employers. However, they can sue a third party to the injury. For example, a production worker who uses cutting equipment and is injured due to a faulty part can sue the parts manufacturer.
Employers Non Compliance with Workers Compensation
Many employees discover their employers do not comply with statutes regarding Workers Compensation, even when they are enrolled in Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
Each claim filed by employees increases the cost of this insurance and Worker’s Compensation laws are difficult to enforce.
Since state laws vary regarding Workers Compensation, most employers dispute employees’ claims or dissuade employees by alluding to job loss. In the injured employee’s absence, employers may hire replacements. When the claimant returns, employers often find a reason to fire the claimant.
An employer cannot fire you while you are collecting Workers Compensation. You can be fired if your claim is open.
If you seek medical help and your doctor bills your employer’s Workers Compensation insurance, an employer may refuse or dispute your claim for medical care. Your doctor can refuse further medical assistance.
Before a dispute occurs, the first step is to seek professional legal assistance. According to Pothitakis Law Firm, “many people decide not to fight for their rights or to settle for less than they deserve just because they are too tired, confused, or intimidated to stand up for themselves.” Don’t let this be you. If you are injured on the job, you have every right to receive workers compensation as the next employee. Seek out help to get answers and resolutions. Your legal counsel will provide answers to questions regarding your eligibility and also help resolve disputes.