Most people understand the basics of workers’ compensation: if a worker gets hurt on the job, their employer is responsible for providing workers’ compensation insurance to cover any costs related to the injury. However, workers’ compensation is slightly more complex. Here are 5 things you need to know about workers’ compensation insurance and its system:
1. A Variety of Injuries are Covered
When people think of workers’ compensation, they usually assume that it covers accidents that occur while working. Although that is part of it, non-accident related injuries are also covered by workers compensation. Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, is a rapidly growing category of workplace injuries. Stress-related injuries, such as emotional illness and stress-related digestive problems, are also increasingly covered by workers compensation. If a work injury results in death — the family of the worker is entitled to receiving workers compensation benefits.
2. Employment Classification Matters
The type of employment within a business plays an important role in workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance for a clerical worker will have a considerably lower insurance rate than a contractor. Office employees will generally have lower insurance costs compared to workers who are exposed to higher potential danger such as construction workers and electricians. Insurance companies will assess each employee’s potential risk associated with their work and classify each employee accordingly.
3. Fault is Generally Not an Issue
Workers’ compensation is apart of the no-fault insurance system. Because of this, it does not matter who is at fault for a work injury. Even if the employee was negligent and caused their injury, they can be protected and be entitled to receiving the benefits of worker’s compensation. However, employees who are intoxicated while experiencing a work injury or who violently engage in a physical fight can be exempt from receiving benefits. These conditions can be evaluated and decided by a court of law.
4. There are Different Types of Benefits
There are many different types of benefits that an employee can receive if they have had a work injury. The basic type of benefit an employee can receive is medical coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover all the medical costs associated with the work injury. Workers’ compensation insurance can also cover a managed care plan if one is needed. Disability benefits are meant to provide for lost wages from an injury. Disability can be broken down into four categories: temporary total, temporary partial, permanent total, permanent partial. Workers’ compensation also covers the costs of rehabilitation if the injured worker requires physical or psychological rehabilitation as a result of an injury.
5. Employees Cannot Sue
Workers’ compensation insurance protects the employer from employees suing after an injury. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover any costs incurred from the injury and provide the injured worker with what they need. An employee cannot additionally sue their employer unless they can prove that their employer has intentionally hurt them or was severely reckless.
If you or a loved one has experienced a work-related injury which has left you disabled or hurt, please call us today to speak with an expert.