If you have a job where getting injured is a possibility, you may be worried about what will happen if you end up getting hurt. No matter how unlikely an injury is, you should be prepared. Luckily, workers’ compensation is a system in the US meant to protect every worker from this possibility. If anyone is injured while working, workers’ comp will compensate them financially. How does workers’ comp actually work, though? This guide will explain everything you should know about workers’ comp.
How It Works
The process of receiving workers’ comp is actually quite simple. When you are injured, the only thing you need to do is report your injury to your employer. From that point forward, your employer will handle the majority of the process, which varies from state to state. Every employer is legally obligated to submit a workers’ comp claim when an employee reports an injury.
You may be required to sign some paperwork, but for the most part you can simply leave it up to your employer. Your employer should provide you with all the paperwork you need to sign to have a workers’ comp claim submitted for you.
If your claim is accepted, you will receive compensation for all expenses resulting from the injury. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Diminished paychecks from missing work
- Medicine purchases
- Loss of earning ability
The goal of workers’ comp is to return you to the financial situation that you were in prior to the injury. Workers’ comp does not compensate for non-financial losses, however, such as pain and suffering.
To qualify for workers’ comp, there are two things that must be true. First, you must be an employee, rather than a volunteer, independent contractor, or freelance worker. If a portion of your paycheck is withheld for tax reasons, then you are an employee.
Second, the injury must be work-related. This essentially means that it must have happened as a result of either you or a co-worker completing work. To put it another way, the activity that resulted in injury must have been completed for the benefit of the company you work for. Injuries that are unrelated to work but happened at your work location are not covered by workers’ comp. This second requirement is more difficult to quantify than the first. If you are unsure if your injury is work-related, it may be a good idea to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer in Green Bay, WI, to get your questions answered.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim for their insight into who is eligible for workers’ compensation and how to file for it.