If you are injured in the course of your employment, then you may be able to call upon Workmans comp to help pay your medical and other bills. In the United States each individual state manages its own system of Workmans comp laws. This makes it difficult to state a lot of particular statistics, because the laws vary between one state and the next with quite a lot of differentiation.
However, it can be ascertained that Workmans compensation laws were written and implemented with the goal of protecting workers in mind. If you sustain an illness or injury while performing your duties as an employee, you just might be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Worker’s compensation laws were first instituted in the nineteenth century, though they were not compulsory in most regions of the world. As the legal systems developed, and advocates for workers began to find stronger voices, purchasing worker’s compensation insurance became mandatory for most employers. Today, in most states, employers are required to carry such coverage, though there may be certain exceptions to this requirement based on state laws.
In most cases an individual is qualified to receive worker’s compensation if they have been injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault. The illness or injury may occur as a result of the employee’s own negligence or that of the employer. It may even be the fault of a co-worker, a customer, or an unrelated third party. In exchange for receiving benefits from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan, the employee is essentially forfeiting the right to sue their employer for the injuries they sustained while on the job.
In fact, Workmans comp laws were designed specifically not just to protect employees and their employers, but also to reduce the amount of lawsuits being filed as a result of on the job injuries. Worker’s compensation claims are typically not handled in a traditional United States court of law. Instead, they are considered an administrative matter that is typically handled by a different, state run entity that is separate from the federal and state court systems. Taking such cases out of the court system means they typically allow swifter compensation to the employee and do not clog the court system with cases that would be more efficiently resolved elsewhere.
Workmans’ compensation covers more than medical bills if you are injured on the job. Such insurance can also pay for the expenses associated with rehabilitation and disability. If the worst happens and a worker is killed in the course of their employment, workers’ compensation insurance may provide benefits to the worker’s surviving dependents. These laws can vary widely from one state to the next, so it is a good idea to have an experienced lawyer on your side. It stands to reason that your employer has sought legal advice in this matter and there is no reason that you should not do the same. Having adequate legal representation levels the playing field and ensures that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Deciding if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits is relatively simple. If you meet three criteria, then you are likely eligible. First of all, your employer must either have workers’ compensation insurance or be legally required to carry such insurance by state or federal law. Some employers simply are not required to have such coverage. It may be that they do not have enough employees to be required to carry this insurance. Maybe the type of business the company is in or the type of work the employee does is not covered by the insurance laws. Regardless of the reason, if your employer does not have such coverage, and is not required to have it, then you are not eligible for workers’ compensation and must seek redress through other means.
Secondly, you must be an employee of the company or person to be eligible for benefits. This means that you cannot be an independent contractor or a volunteer in order to qualify for coverage. Definitions of these titles can vary from state to state, so it is valuable to consult with an attorney. The third criterion is that your illness or injury must be specifically related to your work. If you are performing a task that is for the benefit of your employer, and the task results in your illness or injury, then you are probably entitled to workers’ comp coverage.
Workmans comp laws were enacted to protect the rights of the American worker. They help cover medical, rehabilitation, and disability expenses for individuals who are injured in the course of performing their job duties. Workmans comp laws provide peace of mind and an efficient method of receiving benefits when you are injured or become ill during the course of your employment.