An estimated 2.8 million workers are injured in the American workforce each year. Although not all of those injuries are life-threatening, many of them are serious enough that they require medical attention. When an incident occurs, the injured worker may have questions regarding what type of insurance should be used to cover the medical expenses. When an injury does occur at work, the employer is usually the one that has to pay through workers’ compensation insurance. Workers can file a case for workplace injuries if required. You can click the URL here for more information.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
In 1908, Congress passed the Workers’ Compensation Act, and each state has gone on to pass its own version as well. The Workers’ Compensation program provides benefits to workers or their dependents when an accident occurs in the workplace. This act was first passed to help balance the right of the workers and solve financial problems without having to get the legal system involved. The idea is that both the employer and the employee would give up some of their legal rights under these various state laws. This way, the employee does not have to rely on a personal injury claim to recuperate costs for medical treatment. All states require businesses to carry insurance that covers these types of injuries. If a business has even one employee then they will have to be prepared to cover an injury, even if it is out of their own pocket.
What Benefits Are Injured Employees Given Through Workers Compensation?
When an accident happens in the workplace, the employee must report the accident to his or her employer so that he or she may start the claim process, unless the injury requires medical attention first. It’s important for employees to know what they are entitled to aid through workers’ compensation so that they are spared any personal financial expense. Some Workers Compensation benefits are:
- Medical treatment, including surgery if it is required.
- Rehabilitation to help get back to the workplace.
- Partial wage replacement while recovering from injury.
- Death benefits to help reduce funeral expenses if the accident was fatal.
These are just some of the benefits that an injured employee may receive when his or her employer files for workers’ compensation.
Injuries That Are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
Physical injuries that occur because of work, including repetitive motions and inhaling dust, are just some of the types of injuries that are covered. Also, sicknesses or diseases due to exposure at work under normal conditions are covered. Some of the other coverages include preexisting conditions that have been made more serious because of work duties. Mental strain or stress due to pressures of an increased worked load or harassment by superiors. Lastly, physical injuries that occur when a worker is on a break or lunch break, as well as a company-sponsored event, are also covered under these laws.
What Types of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Not Cover?
When an injury occurs because the employee was fighting, it is considered a type of self-harm. If the injury was obtained while the employee was committing a crime, or if the accident occurred because the employee was intoxicated, injuries are a direct result of the employee’s negligence or were caused by the employee’s actions. An employer may also not have to pay if the employee was injured because he or she was disobeying company policy. This may leave an employee to recover costs on his or her own.
What Are Some Of The Most Expensive Work-Related Injuries?
Accidents involving motor vehicles are some of the most common and expensive work-related injuries. In 2016 and 2017 the average costs associated with these types of injuries averaged almost $80,000. Burns, and then falls, are some other common and expensive injuries. Amputations are some of the most expensive claims, coming close to almost $100,000 per claim, although they are far less common.
Why An Employer May Want An Employee To Pay
Even though states require that employers carry insurance to cover accidents in the workplace, the number of claims they have to cover does affect the costs to the employer. Every claim makes the premium go up. Some employers may wrongfully ask injured employees to use their own personal insurance during the recovery process. Some employers may also ask an employee to use his or her own insurance from the start of the injury. These actions can be contested with the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.