Workers Comensation covers most workers who are injured on the job. Almost all states require it and the regulations are different in each state. Most include:
- Medical benefits to pay for necessary medical care to treat work-related injury or illness.
- Income benefits to replace some of the wages you lose because of a work-related injury or illness.
- Death benefits to replace a portion of lost family income for eligible family members of workers killed on the job.
There are a lot of complaints about Workers Comensation and it keeps a lot of lawyers employed. For the worker, it provides basic protection but healthcare is sometimes limited by managed care requirements and politically imposed caps on other benefits. For the employer, it’s a major expense, but it’s a known amount and coverage is almost always available. At the same time, they are protected from the risk and expense of big lawsuits as it takes away most employees rights to sue their employer for injuries.
If you are injured on the job or because of your job, them Workers Comp should cover the medical bills. Disabilities and continuing medical bills may require negotiation and you should have a lawyer (the other side will!). Compensation rates and rules vary widely from state to state.
Claims are filed through the employers insurance company. Document and keep copies of everything as there are a lot of different bureaucracies and entities involved. Especially important are medical reports and records. Make sure that everything is on the record.
Workers compensation is generally “no fault” which means that in most cases, benefits are paid no matter whom caused the injury. There are some exceptions though which vary from state to state.