There are many high-risk industries that expose workers and employers to a lot of risks. For instance, the trucking, construction, and oil & gas industries are usually considered high-risk industries. Workers in these industries can easily get injured while on the job. Others can easily develop a wide range of other illnesses that are related to their job. When workers get ill or injured on the job, they have the right to sue their employer for damages. When several injury lawsuits are filed against a given employer, they may suffer serious financial repercussions that may force them to close shop. On the other hand, the injured worker may lose the case and end up with nothing, including their job. To protect the interests of workers and employers, the workers compensation insurance system was developed.
How it Works
Workers compensation is a type of injury benefits program that provides workers with guaranteed benefits when they get injured at work. It also protects employers from lawsuits because workers are required to give up their right to sue their employer when they get injured at the workplace. This means that it’s a win-win for both workers and employers. In many states, workers compensation is mandatory. In some, employers have the option of signing up for workers comp alternatives.
Types of Benefits
1. Temporary Disability Benefits
Workers can enjoy temporary disability benefits when they are injured and have to stay out of work for over a week. Temporary disability benefits are usually calculated at the rate of two thirds to three quarters of the weekly wages of the injured worker before the injury. This depends on your state. This benefit is paid until the injured worker is able to return to work.
2. Long-Term/Permanent Disability Benefits
This is usually paid to injured workers who have suffered permanent disability that prevents them from ever going back to work. This disability benefit is paid at the same rate as temporary disability benefits for as long as the injured worker remains alive.
3. Medical Benefits
Workers compensation offers medical benefits, which cover the cost of treating injuries or illnesses associated with workplace incidents. This means that injured workers do not need to worry about paying their own medical bills when they are injured at the workplace. Please note, however, that workers compensation will not pay for the treatment of any other medical condition or injury unrelated to the workplace incident.
Filing a Claim
Upon realizing that you are ill as a result of the work environment at your place of work, you are required to seek medical attention and report the medical issue to your employer as soon as possible. Similarly, if you suffer physical injuries at the workplace, you are required to seek medical attention and report the matter to your employer. A claim will be filed in a timely manner and benefits disbursed according to the work comp act. If the injuries or illness emanated from an intentional act, the claim will be rejected. If the claim is filed outside the stipulated time frame, it will be rejected. It is always a good idea to hire a work comp lawyer if your claim is rejected.
Got more questions? Take a look at this Workers Comp FAQ.