At one time or another, many people have been forced to wonder what is workers compensation. Of course, with luck, and an eye toward safe practices, most workers will never have to deal with a workers’ compensation claim. Still, workplace injuries and illnesses happen every day, so understanding workers compensation can bring enormous peace of mind and help employees find assistance when they need it most.
When you are beginning to understand what is workers compensation, you must realize that every state in America writes and administers its own Workmans compensation laws. The rights, procedures, and requirements of one state will be separate and distinct from those of another state. Consequently, it is of the utmost importance to seek legal counsel if you are injured on the job or become ill as a result of your employment. Your illness or injury may be of either long term or short term in nature. Workers’ compensation insurance coverage protects you regardless. As long as you were injured on the job and your employer carries workers’ comp insurance, you should be eligible for compensation.
If you fall off a ladder or are involved in a car accident while you are working for the benefit of your employer, then you are likely to receive benefits. It most cases it does not matter who are at fault for your illness or injury. Momentary carelessness on your part may have caused your injury. On the other hand, it may have been due to the negligence of your employer or a co-worker. In a workers’ compensation claim it does not matter who is to blame for your injury. It is quite likely that your employer will be held accountable for compensating you for your injury and any time lost on the job as a result of your injury.
As you are discovering what is workers compensation insurance, you will find that such coverage generally protects you from medical expenses. When you are injured on the job you will likely have to seek medical assistance. The cost of identifying and treating your injury or illness would typically be covered by workers’ comp. Each state has different laws, but in most states the medical expenses covered include visits to your doctor, any medications prescribed, and any surgeries required as a result of your injury. Some individuals who have been injured on the job require tools or devices, such as a wheel chair, to assist them during their treatment. Workers’ comp generally covers the expenses of such necessities as well. In some states the coverage will even pay for pain therapy, counseling, or alternative treatments like acupuncture.
If your condition requires that you receive rehabilitation, workers’ comp may cover these expenses as well. If you need physical therapy or require re-training in order to return to the work force, your employer’s workers’ compensation plan will likely cover these costs too. Some people have to go back to school to learn a new trade or to gain qualifications to enter a new industry after they are injured. Here, too, workers’ comp can sometimes help, providing valuable benefits to help the injured individual to launch a new career.
Learning about workmans compensation is a great way to understand your rights as an employee. However, it is difficult for the average worker to understand the laws of their state with sufficient sophistication to navigate a workers’ comp claim on their own. In these cases it is always best to have a legal professional on your side that can help advocate for your rights and make certain that you receive your due.