In the United States, workers’ compensation is a system of laws, court rules, and insurance that protects employees who are hurt on the job. It also helps businesses deal with the costs of accidents. Unless someone’s been through the process, they may not know how it works.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation provides financial assistance to employees who are injured at work. It also covers medical costs and other expenses connected to injuries sustained at work.
Workers’ compensation is a system of laws that protects employees who are hurt at work. It also helps businesses deal with the cost of accidents. Workers’ compensation only covers medical care and lost wages. It does not cover pain, suffering, or other intangible damages. In other words, if it can’t be proven, an employee is unlikely to receive compensation for that part of the claim.
How to File a Claim
The process for filing a claim is simple. Following an accident or injury, take pictures of the scene as evidence and then ask an employer, or the state, for the forms to file.
There is normally a two-year window to submit the forms. However, keep in mind that the longer you wait, the less likely the full claim will be paid since injuries may have occurred after the incident.
Throughout the process, be sure to document everything. Examples include medical appointments, injury photos, and any communication with an employer or insurance agency that may be involved. This can serve as crucial evidence should it be needed later.
Types of Workers’ Compensation
There are two main types of workers’ compensation: wage-replacement benefits and medical benefits. Wage-replacement benefits are paid to employees who are unable to return to work at their previous salary. The state will determine how much you get back. You can choose between a percentage of your salary or a set amount for a certain number of years.
Medical benefits cover some or all of the cost of medical assistance. Depending on the injury, severity, and recovery, this coverage can last from single visits to years of treatment.
How Is Workers’ Compensation Paid?
The state gets a portion of everyone’s payroll taxes. From there, the state pays out a portion of the workers’ compensation claim. Since employees get part of their paycheck taken out for workers’ comp, no one should feel guilty about filing a claim if they get injured.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Comp?
All employees are covered by workers’ compensation. A common misconception is that an employee must be working full time, have insurance, or have some other type of credential to receive help. This is not the case.
Claims also don’t have to fit a perfect mold. Another major misconception is that in order to file for a claim, an injury must take place that was 100% preventable. This is also not true.
For example, if an employee is scanning groceries and cuts her hand on a knife, she may think that since it was a preventable injury, there is no claim. This isn’t the case. She has every right to file a claim and receive money for the injury.
Legal Help with Workers’ Comp
Unfortunately, there are times when an employer or a claim does not work with an employee in the way they feel they deserve. When this happens, it is time to hire an attorney.
Workers’ compensation attorneys can help you file the necessary paperwork with the proper offices. The paperwork may have a long time frame, but if possible, it should be filed as soon as possible so less questions or disputes can be raised.
A workers’ comp attorney can help you get your claim filed quickly and efficiently.