Workers Compensation – Everything You Need to Know
Workers compensation is also called workers compensation insurance and is a state-sponsored program. It is required by law that the employer pay out compensation in case a worker is injured or disabled because of the nature of the job.
Federal Government employees get federal workers compensation, but for regular workers, it is the state’s workers compensation that would be applied. Check for your state’s workers compensation benefits at Department of Labor – Workers Compensation.
When an employee agrees to receive compensation, he or she is also agreeing to give up the right to sue his/her employer in case an injury or illness is sustained at work. This is called a “compensation bargain” and is intended to protect both parties. In case of an injury caused on the job, the worker knows that compensation would be provided, and the employer is protected from being unfairly sued.
Most of the time, the worker will receive compensation, no matter whose fault it was. However, there are limits to the circumstances under which a worker will receive compensation. Here are some examples of when a worker will not receive compensation:
- If the injury was self-inflicted
- If the worker was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when injured
- If the worker was breaking the law or company policy
- If the worker was not on the job when he or she was injured
Workers Compensation Coverage
It will cover the following:
- Medical bills related to the injury or illness
- Replacement income up to a certain amount, which is usually about two thirds the workers wage
- Retraining costs to help you find further employment in the future
- In case of permanent injury, compensation
- If the worker dies on the job, then his/her family will receive workers compensation
If the worker claims compensation benefits, he or she cannot sue his/her employer after that.
To get a better idea of what kinds of injuries are covered under compensation, you can visit Workers Compensation Injuries.
Who is not covered by Workers Compensation?
While most employees are covered by the state workers compensation insurance, there are some who are not covered, such as business owners, independent contractors, volunteers, people who work in private homes, farmers, farmhands, sailors and other maritime employees, railroad employees and casual workers.
Can I Sue My Employer for Work Related Injury or Illness?
Yes, you can. But remember, if you do, you waive your right to compensation.
Can My Employer Fire Me or Not Let Me File for Compensation?
No. That is illegal. If your employer tries to do so, you must file a complaint at the local workers compensation office.
In case your employer disputes your compensation claim and you feel it is unjustified, you should get in touch with a lawyer who can help you fight your case. Before you actually hire the services of a lawyer, you can get a free review of your case.