Understanding Workers Compensation Law
Workers compensation law are rules designed for the payment of employees harmed when carrying out job-related duties. Through them, employees can recover disability payments, medical expenses, lost wages, and costs of rehabilitation and training. The laws are specific to, and administered by the state; the finances are however acquired from employers’ contributions.
Workers compensation law was enacted by the various states as a replacement of traditional personal injury litigation. They remove risk from the employer and the employee. Outside this system, employees who have encountered catastrophic accidents at work can file lawsuits against their employers. This process may encounter delays, and there is also a possibility that the employee may lose the case and recover nothing.
When viewed from an employer’s perspective, this system rules out the possibility of litigation where a significant damage may be awarded. Even if companies act negligently and employees suffer injury or death, the employers will only be only responsible for their ordinary contributions. However, rates may increase after such incidents. In essence, the workers compensation law is somewhat an insurance program set up and made mandatory by the government.
The certainty that the workers compensation system provides comes at a price to both employers and their employees. Employees cannot sue their co-workers or company for negligence. In addition to this, they stand to recover less compensation that they would have gotten in a lawsuit. As for the employers, their primary drawback is on the premiums that the state charges. It is an added payroll expense that they must pay regardless of whether or not workplace accidents ever occur.
What You Should Know About Workers Compensation Law
All states offer certain exceptions to the workers compensation law, allowing workers to bypass the system’s statutes and file lawsuits. They include situations where a co-worker or the employer intentionally causes harm to the employee. Exceptions also exist for employees exposed to toxic substances or injured by a defective product. Furthermore, workers are free to file for damages against third parties like subcontractors, landowners, or drivers.
Upon filing a compensation claim, it is not uncommon to find a company disputing its validity. Employees are motivated to challenge claims as they affect the rates they pay into the system. When a dispute arises, the state worker’s compensation board investigates the claim and renders a decision.
It is advisable for an employee to seek legal counsel when faced with issues of worker’s compensation. Attorneys who have specialized in this area have experience in dealing with companies that do not have their employee’s best interest at heart. Such lawyers are accustomed to emotionally-charged proceedings, they can present the case in such a manner that will maximize the benefits the worker receives.