The Basics of Workers' Compensation

The Basics of Workers' Compensation

The Basics of Workers’ CompensationIf you have become injured or ill on the job, then you may wonder how you can compensate for the damages done. In most cases, workers’ compensation will be your best option. This type of beneficial insurance carried by your employer is required by law and will cover most injuries. To receive workers’ compensation, you may first have to check some eligibility requirements. They go as follows:

  • The Employer Must be Covered by Workers’ Compensation: An employer’s responsibility to cover workers’ compensation can vary on what type of business it is, how many employees it has, and what type of work is being done. It is true that the vast majority of employers are required to carry, and even some that aren’t required to carry still do so.
  • You Must be an Actual Employee: If you are an independent contractor, you will not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation in most instances. Volunteers are typically seen as independent contractors as well, but not in all cases.
  • Your Injury or Illness Must be Work-Related: If you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and were injured or became ill, then you have a work-related incident. It may be difficult to prove that you were injured in a work-related accident because every situation is different – take for example a situation in which you were injured on your lunch break. There may be many questions, but an experienced attorney will be able to ascertain your case

What Benefits Could You be Eligible For?

  • Medical Care: This is paid by an employer to help someone recover from an injury or illness, which includes doctor visits and other treatment services.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits: These are payments for if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while you recover.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: These are payments for if you don’t recover completely and you are suffering permanent loss from your injury.
  • Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits: This pays for retraining or skill enhancement on the job. You are not reoffered work and you don’t return to work.
  • Death Benefits: These are payments to a spouse, children, or any other dependents if you are killed on the job.

What You Should Do if You Are Injured on the Job
If you are injured on the job, you should always report the injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible. If you don’t report the injury as soon as possible, it may be more difficult to get benefits. These benefits could include medical care and may be very vital to your recovery. The worst part is that, if your employer doesn’t learn about your injury within 30 days, you may lose your right to receive workers’ compensation completely. You should also receive medical treatment ASAP. If this requires an emergency visit, go to the hospital immediately. You should alert the medical staff on call that your illness or injury was work-related so they can take note of this.

Prevention in California
In California, there is something known as the Injury and Illness Prevention Program, which all employers are required to have. This program must include worker training, workplace inspections, and procedures for correcting unsafe conditions in the workplace. If your employer and union doesn’t listen to reports of unsafe conditions, then you should call Cal/OSHA, which is the state agency in California that enforces health and safety laws.

Workers’ compensation can be a very complex law to understand. If you have been injured or fallen ill because of something that happened in your workplace, you may have a case against an employer. The question to ask is – do they carry workers’ compensation and do you apply for benefits? Find out where to stand today. Call WTW in California for a consultation.


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