Every state or local government has laws that protect workers, and many require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. An employer should be aware of the benefits payable and the proper steps to take when a workplace accident occurs. Federal and state workers compensation laws exist to protect the workers from work-related injuries, accidents, illnesses, loss of income, discrimination, breach of contract, etc. Here are some of the critical things you need to know about workers’ compensation laws.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance coverage that provides benefits to employees who are injured or get ill while on the job. It compensates them for the medical costs and lost wages while they are out of work. It provides coverage regardless of who is at fault, whether the employee, employer, coworkers, and even customers. But when you look at it from another perspective, workers’ compensation insurance helps protect the employer from liabilities or litigation should an employee suffer injuries or get sick in the line of work.
Is it mandatory?
Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory in most states. Still, even if it is not, voluntarily participating in the program is the best way for an employer to protect their workers and business.
What are the benefits of workers’ compensation coverage?
The greatest benefit of workers’ compensation coverage is that it provides benefits for work-related accidents. If you are a worker, you are entitled to statutory benefits from the employer if you suffer a personal injury at work. Through the help of a workers compensation lawyer, you can receive benefits such as loss of wages, medical, and even death benefits.
However, employees also retain the right to sue negligent third parties if they helped cause the accident. The state law defines the covered employees under the workers’ compensation insurance.
How does the claim process work?
If you are a worker injured in the line of work, here is what to expect as your claim gets processed.
- The human resource team or employer first ensures you get medical attention.
- After that, you can go ahead and prepare a formal claim with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
- The employer can provide an overview of the claim process, including getting medical care and how your wages will be supplemented when you are out of work.
- You should file the workers’ compensation claim to the employer’s insurance provider within 24-48hours after the accident then wait for approval or denial of the claim.
- If the claim is approved, the insurance provider notifies you, and you can receive further medical care and return to work when you recover. If it is denied, you can demand further review.
How long can an employee receive compensation benefits?
This may differ from one state to another. But as an employee, you can expect a maximum benefit provision period of three to seven years. You can also return to work in a limited capacity while still receiving your financial benefits.
When you encounter a work-related accident, you should seek guidance from a workers’ compensation lawyer on the options to seek your claim.