If you get hurt on the job, you might be facing medical bills while worrying over lost wages from not being able to work. Business owners have insurance to help cover your medical bills in a mutually beneficial settlement.
Workers’ compensation is payment for the worker, should they become injured or disabled as a result of performing the duties of their job. Their doctor has to provide documentation, but upon receiving that, the worker will get paid until they are able to return to work.
When agreeing to receive workers’ compensation, the worker agrees to waive their right to sue the employer over the accident. This is the “compensation bargain.” The employer agrees to a certain amount of liability but benefits from avoiding a negligence lawsuit.
Who Regulates Workers’ Compensation?
Each state regulates its workers’ compensation program, which is funded by mandatory employer contributions. Federal employees have a similar program through the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers pay premiums toward workers’ compensation every month regardless of whether an injury occurs; these are paid through payroll expenses.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Most workers’ compensation covers medical fees tied to the injuries received at work. It also covers rehabilitation and retraining costs if it’s required before you re-enter the workplace. The worker also gets what is essentially sick pay until they are able to return to work. If the worker becomes disabled as a result of this accident, they will receive payments from workers’ compensation (that are separate from disability insurance from Social Security). If a worker dies as a result of their employment, their family or dependents will receive payments for lost wages.
Why Agree to Workers’ Comp?
Legal fees to file a lawsuit against the employer may add up and not lead to a profitable settlement. The employee may have difficulty proving the employer is responsible for the injury. For extensive injuries or if the worker becomes disabled, a lawsuit may be worth it. For smaller, recoverable injuries, workers’ compensation makes more sense because it is a guaranteed payment of your medical fees and lost wages. A consultation with a lawyer after the injury may help you to decide whether the degree of your injury and the circumstances of the event will lead to a winnable case.
Every state has exceptions to bypass workers’ compensation, allowing the worker to sue if the employer or a fellow worker deliberately caused the damages. Exposure to toxic substances and faulty machinery or equipment are also grounds to sue. Workers have the right to sue third parties over the incident in any case.