What is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation is a state-run insurance program that protects workers in case of injury or illness caused by the work they do. The Federal government runs a workers compensation program for federal employees, longshoremen and coal miners. All other kinds of jobs are covered by the states’ workers compensation insurance programs. To find out more about your coverage you can check the Department of Labor website.
Depending on the State in which you live, your workers compensation insurance policies could be completely different. So it is best to understand the laws related to workers compensation in the state that you work so you know what your benefits and compensation will be in case you are injured or contract a work-related illness.
Reasons for Workers Comp
And injured or ill worker cannot bring money into the home, which means that you could suffer sudden hardship due to a lack of funds over and above dealing with injuries or illness. Workers compensation is designed to give you a quick and efficient way to receive compensation for work-related injuries. This compensation is meant to help you pay your bills and also take care of your medical expenses until you can get back on your feet.
There is a clause in the workers compensation insurance policy. If you avail of the insurance compensation, then you waive your right to sue your employer for the injury caused at the workplace. The idea is that your employer takes care of you while you are injured but in return, you don’t sue him or her.
However, if you wish to sue your employer because your injury was caused by employer negligence, you can opt to file a lawsuit against your employer. But this means you cannot file for a workers compensation claim. If you are successful in your lawsuit, then you can be awarded more money than you would have gotten through workers compensation.
Cap on Workers Compensation
Another important factor to keep in mind is that workers compensation benefits are not a continuous payout. By state law, there is a cap on the amount of compensation you can get. The payouts will get progressively lower as you heal and will stop once you are deemed “healed”.
If your injury or illness does not allow you to do the same job you used to do, then the insurance policy will also cover the cost of retraining you for another job. Additionally, if you are able to go back to work, but are not able to get the same wages you could earlier, then workers compensation will also give you a little extra to help you get by.
Injuries covered under workers comp
Theoretically, all injuries or illnesses sustained during the course of your work are covered under workers compensation.
The exception is when you are directly responsible for your own injuries due to alcohol or drug abuse, misconduct, “Acts of God” or if you were not at work when you were injured.
If you’ve been injured in at your workplace, you should check if you got fair compensation – check now.