Among the injuries commonly covered by workers' compensation laws are repeated trauma injuries, traumatic physical injuries, mental injuries and occupational diseases.
Workers' compensation covers injuries due to accidents at work and occupational diseases that have been developed due to the nature of the job they are doing for the company in a long time. When it happens, you should inform the employer as soon as possible.
It is important that you know the insurance carrier of your employer. Some companies post this in their bulletin boards to inform the employees. However, even without this information, an employee entitled to claim for medical benefits should still apply for workers' compensation.
Right after an injury, employees must seek medical treatment and give all the details to the doctor as well as mention that it happened you were at work. After medical treatment, it would be best to consult a workers' compensation lawyer for their professional opinion on your situation and ask for advice on how you can go through the process of applying for your compensation.
There is a deadline for notifying the employer so make sure you know this and submit the notification in writing before the deadline.
Workers' compensation benefits
While each state has its own employee compensation laws, there may be similarities to some of them. A workers' compensation attorney in your area can explain the whole process and benefits that you can get. Depending on the state or federal laws, common benefits include medical care, temporary or permanent disability due to lost wages, educational assistance, vocational rehabilitation and death benefits.
A workers' comp lawyer can advise the employee of various options. Although an employee cannot sue the employer for additional benefits, there may be other options to receive more money from the injury. If there are others that are involved in the injury, you can file a lawsuit. An example of this is when a driver has hit you while you were on duty. You might be able to sue the driver and get more benefits.
When employees get injured while doing their duty, they are entitled to workers' compensation for cash benefits and medical care as a result of the work-related injury. Employers pay for this insurance. They are mandated by the Workers' Compensation Law to shoulder this expense and they cannot require the employees to contribute to it. During the injury, weekly cash benefits such as the worker's salary are paid by the insurance, as well as the medical care that is needed.
Who oversees worker’s compensation laws?
The Workers' Compensation Board is the agency of the state that processes the employees' claims and determines the reimbursement of cash benefits , medical care and amounts payable by the insurer.
Who is held accountable?
Nobody is at fault in any workers' compensation case. Unless the employee got injured because he was intoxicated by alcohol, or was intentionally injured by himself or by someone else, the employee has the right to claim workers' compensation benefits. The amount that the claimant receives is not reduced due to his carelessness nor is it increased because it was the employer's fault that he was injured.
What can be expected typical scenarios?
The claim is paid as long as the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the injury was work-related. If either the employer or insurance carrier disputes the employee's claim there will be no benefits until theworkers' compensation law judge proclaims the decision. An employee may be qualified for disability benefits in cases when the employer or the insurance carrier disputes the claim as job related.
When an employee gets back to work but couldn't earn the same way as before he was injured, the workers' compensation may make up about two-thirds of the difference in the wages before and after the accident. Employees are also given the benefit of working in light jobs until they are fully healed.
Why are there worker’s compensation laws?
The purpose of enacting workers' comp laws is to replace the conventional personal injury litigation so that the risk for both the employer and employee is eliminated. Without the workers' compensation system, the injured employee will have to file a lawsuit to prove that the employer is responsible and should pay for his salary and medical care. In those instances, many employees lose during the lawsuit and end up not being paid for the work-related injury.
With the workers' compensation system, employers don't need to worry whenever an employee gets hurt or is killed during the time of duty. The insurance carrier takes care of it. It also does well for the employee as he will be compensated for as long as it is proven that the injury is work-related. He doesn't need to file a lawsuit and the employer doesn't need to worry about a legal action from the employee.
Do worker’s compensation laws prevent all lawsuits?
There may be other cases that a state allows an employee to bypass the compensation and file a lawsuit if there is proof that the injury was intentionally caused by a coworker. In this case, the employee can file damages and receive money when after providing sufficient proof.