What is Workers Compensation?
Workers Compensation, also known as workers comp or workmans comp, is a set of state laws designed to protect people that have been injured or disabled in the work place. Fixed monetary values are awarded to those with medical bills and lost wages that occur as a result of the injury. Benefits are also provided to beneficiaries of workers that have been killed on the job. This money usually comes from workers compensation insurance and is provided to eliminate the need for litigation. These laws are also set in place to protect employers and fellow employees. The monetary values are limited in an attempt to eliminate the liability of coworkers from injured workers abusing the system.
Workers Compensation acts provide a system for hearings and judicial decisions by administrative law judges. This does not include decisions for general damages for pain and suffering. If the injured worker feels there was significant damage due to negligence, he/she may waive their right to workers compensation and sue the employer. The injured person may also sue a third party that contributed to the injury or illness. The insurance company could recoup some of the money paid out through workers compensation if the injured party decides to sue.
Employers can carry workers compensation insurance, however there are federal programs to aid those injured in a workplace without insurance. In most cases, the injured worker is covered for accidents that occur due to negligence. If a workplace accident does occur the employer/employee might have to undergo job retraining for safety purposes.
The state laws differ from state to state and also vary in different industries. It is important to get competent legal advice from an attorney that specializes in workers compensation. Make sure the attorney is knowledgeable in both your industry and states' laws.