Workers in different fields may get injured on the job sometimes, with some accidents giving the worker more grievous injuries than others. The law requires every business to have workers’ compensation insurance (workman’s comp). The workers’ compensation pays cash benefits and covers medical expenses for workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses regardless of the party at fault.
Eligibility Requirements for Workers’ Compensation
Different states have different compensation laws. Workers must meet specific eligibility requirements to enjoy the benefits.
- The employer should carry workers’ compensation insurance. Consider insurance companies like kickstand insurance which provides online workers’ compensation insurance.
- They should be an employee. It covers full or part-time, temporary employees, and seasonal workers. The clause excludes volunteers and independent contractors.
- The worker was injured while performing their duties.
What Should You Do in Case of an Injury?
Try contacting and notifying your direct overseer as soon as you are injured. The requirement varies depending on your state. Not reporting within a stipulated time frame might lead to forfeiture of the right to file a claim.
Employers must oversee and ensure the worker receives necessary medical care as soon as they know of the injury or illness. They should go to the state workers’ compensation board and file a claim while informing their insurance provider.
The workers’ comp covers all the medical expenses to diagnose and treat an employee’s injury or illness. It includes appointments with the doctor, prescriptions, medical equipment, and even surgery. They also get vocational rehab benefits if they cannot return to the work they did before the injury.
Wages are also compensated for the time off work, about two-thirds of their weekly salary.
Types of Disability Benefits
- Temporary total disability is when the employee gets time off work for a limited period.
- Temporary partial disability, where the employee gets benefits for the light duties they may be able to perform. It is active until they can resume work at their pre-injury capacity.
- Permanent total disability employees can receive the benefits of permanent total disability since they are completely disabled and cannot return to work. Such workers may also be eligible for social security disability disbursement.
- Permanent partial disability employees receive the benefits under this category when they cannot perform work due to partial or complete loss of a body part.
- Death benefits are given to the family due to the loss of an employee while on the job.
Legal Rights Accruing to Workers
The workers’ comp does not cover punitive damages or personal injuries. Under certain circumstances, injured employees can file a suit in civil court to try and recover additional damages owed to them.
Employees are entitled to recover damages if the employer directly causes them harm.
Even if they lack workers’ compensation insurance, they can file a lawsuit against the employer under personal injury. They will, however, need to prove during the inquiry that the employer was at fault.
Manufacturers could be held liable for damages and sued by the worker if the injury directly resulted from defective machinery or equipment.
Employees are also eligible to file a claim against a manufacturer under tort. It may be from exposure to toxic substances, which may have long-term effects such as lung disease, neurological damage, or cancer.
Employees can also file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who might have caused illness or injury in the workplace.
Workers should be well aware of their rights in the workplace and know what to do in case of injury or disease. Getting a good lawyer is a wise option. Still, if the employer is willing, you do not have to go into litigation to recover damages.
Author information: Hannah Boothe is a graduate of the University of Washington in Marketing and English. With dreams of becoming a professional novelist, she also enjoys taking care of her dogs and helping out on her parents’ farm. She loves to read and enjoys cuddling up to a good movie.