Workers’ compensation is an important part of your employment. If you are working for a private employer or a government agency, you must make sure that you have workers’ comp. It acts as a safety net and pays for your damages when you get injured during your employment.
It is important to understand how the process works, so you are not confused when the time comes. If you have a question about l&i, an attorney can help you clarify your doubts.
The basics of a workers’ comp claim
- What does workers’ comp cover?
One of the most frequently asked questions is about workers’ compensation benefits coverage. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses in case the employee dies. The funeral expenses are awarded to the surviving dependents of the deceased person. Workers’ comp does not cover non-economic damages.
- What type of injuries are covered under workers’ comp?
Any injury acquired during your employment is subject to workers’ comp benefits. The injury may be acquired from a one-time accident, or it may be a disease that develops over a long time due to toxic exposure. The injury may be produced by another party, such as a customer or a co-worker.
- Which types of injuries are not covered under workers’ comp?
Workers’ comp can protect you if you get into a genuine accident during your employment. It does not cover the injuries that were intended or out of the course of employment. Some examples include:
- Injuries acquired during a fight that you started.
- Injuries acquired while you were intoxicated in the workplace (drunk/high).
- Injuries that you intentionally acquire, such as self-harm.
- Emotional injuries that do not result from workplace trauma. For example, if you have depression because of something that occurred outside of your employment, workers’ comp won’t benefit you.
- What about pre-existing conditions?
The law recognizes that not all workers may be in perfect condition when they join work. You are entitled to workers’ comp if you already had pre-existing injuries that were significantly aggravated during the workplace accident. A medical professional can help determine whether the injuries were aggravated, by how much and why.
- Why pays for the workers’ comp benefits?
Employees are not responsible for carrying workers’ comp insurance. Instead, it is the employer who purchases workers’ comp to cover the benefits for the employees. The costs can vary depending on the following factors.
- State laws
- Type of work employees do
- On-the-job risks
- Business size