Workers compensation is a type of insurance purchased by employers in order to cover work-related injuries and/or illness of employees. Those who have been recently injured or are considering filing a claim, may have many questions and concerns regarding workplace accidents.
What is workers compensation?
By definition, workers compensation is a mandated program by the state in which employers are required by law to make payments to cover employees who are either injured and/or disabled at work. In many situations, employees can receive workers compensation insurance, regardless of who was at fault for the incident. This coverage acts as insurance, so it often precludes an employee from taking legal action against his or her employer for illness or injuries.
What kinds of accidents are not covered by workers comp insurance?
Workers compensation is created to cover injuries due to either an employee or employers actions. However, there are limits depending on how exactly the damage occurred. Drug and alcohol testing can be requested of the employee and benefits can be denied if the results show they were under the influence when the accident happened. Other reasons for compensation denial include self-inflicted injuries, violation of company rules or laws and an employee not being on job duty at the time.
What expenses does workers compensation cover?
Coverage through workers compensation insurance can include the following:
- Medical Care
- Replacement Income
- Retraining Costs
- Compensation for permanent conditions
- Benefits to surviving family members for employees who passed while at work or due to work-related injuries
Typically, wage replacement is around 60% of the worker’s wage, untaxed. After a few days of missing work due to an injury, an employee can be eligible for receiving compensation benefits.
Is it possible to sue my employer?
Yes, an employee can sue for an intentional or reckless behavior committed on behalf of the employer that caused the injury. For employees who wish to do this, the original workers compensation insurance may be waived. If a claim is taken to court, an employee has the chance to receive compensation for medical costs, punitive damages, mental anguish, loss of pay, in addition to pain and suffering.
Can an employer fire an employee, or instruct the employee to not file a workers compensation claim?
Many states prohibit this kind of behavior from an employer. It is in the best interest of the employee to report their employer to a nearby workers compensation office if he or she retaliates or responds in this manner.
Should I Seek an Attorney?
Some people do decide to consult with an attorney, like a work injury attorney New York trusts, if they feel their employer did not handle their claim properly, or believe they are not receiving the maximum amount of benefits possible. Many companies offer a free initial claim evaluation for potential clients. Some people may be afraid to file a claim out of fear of losing their job or causing friction. An attorney can evaluate your claim and help you decide if it is the right decision for you to take legal action against your employer.
Thank you to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their information in regards to workers compensation.