Workers' Compensation

Learn more about workers' compensation insurance

Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that remunerates workers who have been injured while on the job in exchange for giving up their right to sue the employer for negligence. While workers' comp is often thought to be purely a benefit for the workers, it is just as beneficial to the employers, since it protects them from unsavory lawsuits. While both workers and employers have been critical about the way the system works, both are better off having a workers' compensation program in place; both are spared considerable time and expense that would otherwise have to be solved through litigation in a civil court.

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Workers' Compensation Benefits

Workers' compensation insurance plans differ from country to country and from state to state and can benefit injured workers in numerous ways, including:

  • Disability insurance: weekly payments that replace wages
  • Health insurance: payments for past and future economic loss or reimbursement of medical expenses
  • Life insurance: benefits paid out to the dependants of an employee killed at work

In order to be eligible to receive compensation, the Worker's Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) & Notice of Potential Eligibility needs to be filled out promptly following the injury; benefits cannot be dispensed until the proper authorities have been notified.

Even though the worker has waived their ability to sue their employer, it is still important to consult with a workers' compensation attorney during the process of obtaining benefits as a result of a work-related injury. The injured employee or their representative may have to work with multiple insurance companies and may need legal assistance to ensure they receive the full amount of compensation that they are entitled to. A change to the way a state regulates workers' compensation is possible by way of the workers' compensation board or the state workers' compensation.

Workers' Compensation Facts

Workers' compensation first came into effect in Europe and was later adopted by the United States in Georgia and Alabama by 1855. All the states had some form of workers' compensation in place by 1949. Prior to workers' comp, employees had to take their employer to court to sue for negligence. This put a financial burden on the employee with many courts ruling in favor of the employer instead, giving little weight to the full medical costs, lost wages and future earning potential of the injured employee.

Injured workers claim that the insurance companies don't treat them fairly and many employers feel that the costs of insurance are too high; driven up by fraudulent claims. However, workers' compensation offers blanket protection for both the employer and employee, helps to reduce litigation fees and time spent in court as well as getting both parties back to business as usual.

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