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Workers’ Comp: What it Covers if You’re Hurt at Work

Workers’ compensation insurance protects workers who become ill or injured due to work-related circumstances. Potential compensation may include disability payments, wage replacement, and death benefits for surviving family members.

Workers’ compensation programs also limit the liability exposure for employers when workers suffer an injury. Employers that do not carry workers’ compensation insurance may face lawsuits from injured employees.

The inability to recoup workers’ benefits may spur a civil suit as the only means necessary for workers to find needed money to pay medical expenses and support themselves while unable to work.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers participating in an activity on behalf of an employer when they become injured or ill. The work-related injury or disease can happen while a worker performs job duties in the workplace, in transit, or at another location directed by their employer. Workers also enjoy protection when companies host events not directly work-related.

Workers’ compensation claims may be denied to workers who intentionally hurt themselves. Workers under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the work-related accident may also miss out on benefits.

Workers that qualify for benefits may receive reimbursement for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Wages lost
  • Long-term disability
  • Funeral costs.

Medical Expenses

Workers’ compensation will cover the cost of out-of-pocket medical care for workers injured on the job. Covered expenses include trips to the emergency room, prescription medication, and surgical procedures.

Lost Wages

Injured employees may need time away from work to heal from their injuries. Workers’ comp benefits will reimburse workers for the wages they miss by not working.

Rehabilitative Care

Some injuries require ongoing medical care. One example is a worker who hurts his or her back lifting boxes. The recovery process for this worker may include physical therapy. This therapy may take months before the worker is healthy and regains the strength in their back to get back to work. Workers’ compensation benefits cover the cost of these additional levels of care.

Funeral Expenses

Some workplace accidents come with the ultimate cost: the life of a worker involved with the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits will cover all the expenses necessary to bury a deceased worker in addition to the benefits made available to surviving family members.

Illness

Some workplaces expose workers to allergens and chemicals. These irritants may cause diseases and other health conditions over time. Workers’ compensation will cover the cost of both initial treatments and ongoing care for sick workers.

Injuries Caused by Repetitive Motion

Injuries to workers do not always result from a single event. It may take months or even years for repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome to install. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers injured due to repetitive motions for immediate relief and ongoing treatment.

Disability

Some injuries may cause permanent or temporary disability to an employee. Disability payments are available to those unfortunate workers to pay medical bills and replace some of the income they lose while unable to work.

Who Does Workers’ Compensation Cover

Most states require workers’ compensation protections for full-time employees. Workers who perform duties on a contract or become part of a company in a temporary capacity are sometimes not provided with these protections.

Employers are responsible for understanding the legalities regarding workers’ compensation where they do business. Independent contractors and business owners are not normally eligible for workers’ comp benefits.

Key Takeaways

Employees that suffer injuries or illnesses resulting from work-related circumstances may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation pays out-of-pocket medical expenses, replaces wages, and provides other services to qualifying workers.

But getting the compensation you are due is not always a straightforward process. If there are unusual delays or your workers’ compensation claim gets denied, contact a workers compensation lawyer immediately.

About Contributor:

Workers' Comp: What it Covers if You're Hurt at WorkWith a BA in communications and paralegal experience, Irma C. Dengler decided to combine her skills. In the past, when she was involved in proceedings of her own, she witnessed firsthand the weight of legal language. A convoluted terminology can easily disarm the average American. Therefore, she set off to empower her readers by making the law more accessible to them. Although she has covered all areas of civil and criminal law, insurance-related issues, and her area of specialty are personal injury cases.

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