About Worker's Compensation Insurance

Should You Accept Worker's Compensation Insurance Benefits?

Employee with pen in hand filling out work injury claim form with calculator and glasses

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If you have ever had a job, you have probably heard of worker's compensation insurance. Maybe you have even received worker's compensation benefits from your employer. Worker's compensation is paid by the employer. This coverage is meant to help protect the financial wellness of a worker who was injured on the job through no fault of their own.

How Does Workers Compensation Work?

If you become sick or are injured at work as a result of your job, you may qualify for a worker's compensation claim. Some people may worry that depending on who is at fault, they may or may not be covered, but who is at fault is not necessarily as important as whether your situation has occurred due to your work. If your illness, injury or disability is due to a work-related situation, then you may qualify. It is always best to ask than to assume you don't qualify.

Worker's compensation is paid by the employer's worker's compensation insurance.

There are pros and cons to accepting worker's compensation insurance and if you don't understand how it works then you cannot make the best choice for yourself. Understanding how worker's compensation works and what qualifies people for worker's compensation can help you decide if you need to make a worker's compensation claim.

If you are working and get injured you would typically report this injury to your supervisor. By law, you have a right to medical care. If for some reason you cannot work because of your injury, you will be provided money by your employer to be paid from their worker's compensation insurance. The injury or illness must be work-related.

Qualifying for Compensation

Besides being an employee, there are other criteria in order to qualify for worker's compensation:

  • You work for an employer that has worker's compensation insurance.
  • Your injury or disability is work-related
  • Check your state deadlines and regulations for filing a worker's compensation claim and submit your claim within the timeline allowed.

If you die on the job, worker's compensation may also pay out benefits to your family or beneficiary.

How Much Does Worker's Compensation Insurance Pay?

How much money and how long you get that money depends on the state your workplace is located. Your employer's worker's compensation insurance will also provide payment for medical care.

What Every Employee Needs to Know

Most employees don't give it a second thought when they accept their employer's worker's compensation insurance payments. But, they should. When someone is injured at their workplace and accepts the worker's compensation insurance, they are giving up their right to sue their employer. Remember the history of worker's compensation insurance from above? People could not afford to sue their employers so a law was enacted that required every employer to provide worker's compensation insurance. That is why it was made, to not only provide lost wages and medical care for employees but to also protect employers from getting sued all the time. So how do you know if you will be treated fairly when choosing to accept worker's compensation insurance?

Make Sure Your Claim is Treated Fairly

In most cases accepting your employer's worker's comp insurance is the best choice. Your employer does not want you to sue them and generally, they will do their best to help you get healthy again and to prevent another incident. Every situation and injury is unique and the best way to know if you should accept your employer's worker's compensation insurance is to contact an injury lawyer. If you have legal insurance, you might even be able to get advice from an injury lawyer as part of a legal insurance policy. Speaking to a lawyer is important if you have a life-threatening injury or something that you think may turn into a permanent disability.

Workers Compensation Insurance coverage amounts and the type of coverage will vary by state. It is important to understand your specific state laws.

Finding Protection for Workers

Could you imagine getting hurt on your job and the only thing you could do was to sue your employer in order to prove that they were at fault for your workplace injury? That is how it used to be in the early 1900s. Back then if someone got injured at work, they usually just had to deal with lost wages, finding another job, or living with a permanent disability. People had to prove that the injury was due to an unsafe work environment in court.

Most workers could not afford the costs associated with suing their employers. Labor unions pushed for worker's compensation insurance to protect employers. By 1949 all employers in every state where required by law to provide some type of worker's compensation insurance for their employees.

Now, worker's compensation insurance has become more than just money for lost wages. Depending on what state you live in, worker's compensation insurance can provide money for lost wages, reimbursement for medical bills, and even life insurance for your dependents if you die on the job.

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