Employers are responsible by law to maintain a reasonable level of safety and care in the workplace. Even under the best of circumstances, accidents can happen. Workers compensation benefits serve to cover an employee regardless of the party at fault for the accident. Workers compensation can service two main purposes: 1) offers injured workers payments for medical care, and financial compensation for a portion of wages lost if the employee is unable to work and 2) helps protect an employer from lawsuits against their employees due to the injury and/or illness. In the event of a fatality, workers compensation also provides benefits to the surviving family.
Every State Law Varies
Workers compensation programs can vary by state. States can determine factors such as amount of benefits an employee is entitled and which conditions are eligible for coverage. States can dictate whether workers compensation programs are provided through state-run companies or private insurance agencies. Each state can decide how claims are handled and the route in which disputes are resolved.
What Injuries are Covered?
Workers compensation can cover employees for injuries or illness sustained while on the job site, or while performing tasks within the course and scope of employment. In addition, workers compensation can cover workplace violence, natural disasters and terrorist acts. Employers must take safety very seriously, as workplace dangers can cause fatality. One of the leading causes for employee deaths include accidents that happen while the employee is driving a company vehicle.
What Kinds of Benefits Can Employees Receive?
In addition to medical coverage, employees can receive income replacement. The amount an employee can receive is based on the severity of disability (total, partial, permanent or temporary). If an employee is eligible for payment due to loss of pay, the monetary award is based on a percentage of the worker’s income.
Can an Employee Sue Their Employer?
Employees do have the option to take legal action against their employer. This can be particularly true in cases where an employee feels they are not receiving adequate benefits, if their claim was not handled properly or their injury was caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of their employer. Many choose to seek legal representation for a workers compensation related lawsuit. If an employee files a lawsuit against their employer, workers compensation benefits can be stopped. It is common for law firms to offer a free initial claim evaluation for potential new clients. This can be a great way to find out if taking legal action against your employer is the most suitable decision.
Workers compensation programs are designed to help workers get through the period of injury or illness treatment and hopefully back to a state of health and wellness. If an employer retaliates against an employee for filing a workers compensation claim, it may be in their best interest to consult with a workers compensation attorney Palm Beach prefers for professional protection. Your health is the top priority, and should be taken seriously throughout the workers compensation process.
Thank you to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation.