What Is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Accidents in the workplace can have severe repercussions on your finances, career, and overall wellbeing. This is why every employer must insure their employees under the workers’ compensation system. With this program, workers can be protected from losses arising from work-related injuries or illnesses.
But, exactly what is workers’ compensation, and how does it work? In this article, we look at this insurance system and how it is designed to support workers.
If you have questions about this subject, you can contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to speak to a Hudson County Workers’ Compensation Attorney.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a state-mandated program designed to protect workers. If you sustain a work-related illness or injury, the program supports you so you can get back to work as soon as possible.
Because the state mandates the program, each state imposes different rules on employees and employers. This includes when and where an employee must acquire workers’ compensation insurance.
Worker’s compensation is a no-fault program. This means that an injured employee doesn’t need to prove fault to be eligible for compensation. It also means that they cannot sue their employer.
As mentioned, each state establishes the parameters of workers’ compensation programs. Some of these regulations dictate which employees should be covered and which businesses should have a policy. In some states, certain workers are excluded from coverage. These include:
- Domestic workers, e.g., nannies
- Agricultural workers
- Seasonal workers
- Undocumented workers
Independent contractors are also not covered in an employer’s insurance program as they are not considered employees of the company.
Covered Injuries and Illnesses
By definition, workers’ compensation covers workers for any work-related injury or illness. The injury or illness could be a result of a single accident or repetitive exposure to harmful conditions. It must have occurred under normal working conditions and while you were in your scope of duty.
You don’t necessarily have to have been injured at work to be eligible for benefits. You could be covered for injuries suffered when running an errand for your employer, for instance.
However, workers’ compensation does not cover self-inflicted injuries, or injuries suffered while breaking company policy or being intoxicated.
The benefits available to an injured worker depend on the nature of their injuries, state requirements, or type of policy held by the employer. Generally, workers’ compensation covers medical bills, rehabilitation, and some lost wages. It can also pay for death or disability benefits.
When injured, you must notify your employer of your injuries. You might be required to fill out a form and submit it to your employer, who will then process it.
Generally, your employer should provide you with information concerning your workers’ compensation rights and responsibilities. If not, you can speak to a Hudson County Workers Compensation Attorney.
Talk to a Hudson County Workers Compensation Attorney
Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault program, you don’t have to go to trial to prove fault just to receive your benefits. However, workers’ compensation cases can become complicated. Your employer could argue that you were injured while outside the scope of your employment. Such arguments could compromise your claim.
If you are having trouble getting compensated for a workplace injury, contact us to speak to an expert Hudson County Workers Compensation Attorney.