Workers' Compensation and You

Injuries are all too common in the workplace, and often times it is not the injured party’s fault. Accidents happen, leaving the injured employee unable to work. Historically, this would have been devastating for many households who could not survive without that income, leaving the injured party with only a few options. Fortunately, current employees are often protected if they are injured due to workers compensation.

What Is Workers Compensation

Before worker’s compensation laws were passed in the late 1900s ,if a worker was injured on the job and unable to work, the injured party’s only recourse would be to sue their employer and attempt to prove that the employer’s negligence was at fault. Naturally most workers at the time could hardly wait around for court proceedings while they were losing wages. That’s why laws were put into place to protect the worker, thus coining the term: worker’s compensation.

These laws serve to ensure that employees who are hurt and unable to continue to work for any period of time will receive a set monetary amount, without the need for litigation. This is beneficial for the injured employee, as they can work on relaxing and recovering from their injuries instead of worrying about their lawsuit. However, it’s important for the injured employee to understand that they are waiving their right to sue their employer, if they opt to accept the company’s worker’s compensation offer. It’s considered a win-win situation because the employee will be able to have ample to recover from any injuries sustained on the job, while they employee doesn’t have to worry about a possibility of a lawsuit.

Understanding Labor Laws

Worker claws vary from state to state and industry to industry. The Federal Workers Compensation Act, which provides compensation for federal employees, provides the basis for the majority of the various worker compensation programs across the nation. The typical program inspired by the FWCA will provide coverage for any worker who is injured or killed while carrying out their assigned duties in the workplace, provided that it is not demonstrated that the injury and/or death was caused willfully by the employee or due to the employee being intoxicated. By not covering injuries caused willfully by the employee, the worker compensation programs step in to protect the employer from workers who serially injure themselves in order to collect the compensation. This is also why; if an employee is injured on the job they will be asked to undergo a drug test. If they refuse or fail the test, they will no longer be eligible for compensation for that injury.

Under the Federal Workers Compensation Act and most other programs, an employee will receive two-thirds of their standard monthly salary while they are disabled. As with most programs, the injured person may receive more, depending on the type of injury and number of dependents in their family. Some programs will also require job-retraining depending on the nature of the injury.

Should I Claim Compensation?

Before you file a worker’s compensation claim with your employer, make sure you understand worker’s compensation related laws and particular issues that may effect you. Worker’s compensation can be a difficult topic to address, especially since there are a growing number of fraudulent worker’s compensation cases, leaving states and employers on their to figure out how to implement laws to avoid people from scamming the system.