With every workplace environment there is some degree of risk of injury. Workers’ Compensation is there to insure that you can continue to get paid while you are unable to work due to job related injury or sickness, but what exactly does that mean?
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program, mandated by the state that insures employees for illnesses and injuries that arise out of the job. Employees benefit from the program by receiving medical care after sustaining an injury or illness that is work-related. See more about Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation.
Injured employees receive a certain portion of their wages while they are off work for the treatment of such injury or illness, depending on state rules. States also establish their own rate of compensation when an employee loses a member, is permanently disabled or dies as a result of the work-related accident.
It is a no-fault insurance program, meaning that the injured employee does not have to go the traditional tort route of proving negligence in order to recover. In exchange, the employee generally cannot sue the employer for his or her injuries.
Workers’ compensation coverage is meant to compensate employees who sustain work-related injuries. Some states further expand this definition to include illnesses that are work related. Other states only allow specific illnesses to trigger coverage.
Employees do not necessarily have to be at work to be covered under such programs. If they are completing a work-related task at their employer’s request and are injured in the process, workers’ compensation may cover these injuries.
The types of benefits that are available to an injured worker depend on the nature of the injury, state requirements and the benefits included as part of the policy. In addition to the payment of medical expenses and wage replacement, workers’ compensation may also include vocational rehabilitation, compensation for permanent injuries and survivors’ benefits.
Reporting Your Claim
Injured employers must report their injuries to the employer. There may be a specific form that they must submit to the employer. If the employee does not report the injury within a certain period of time, the employee may lose his or her right to receive benefits. Employers may also be required to provide employees with fact sheets or pamphlets regarding their rights and responsibilities that employees should review. If the employee is confused about his or her rights or responsibilities, he or she can contact the state agency that is responsible for administering the workers’ compensation program.
If you were injured at work and need help proving your right to Workers’ Compensation, don’t hesitate to speak to an attorney about your case.