Workers’ compensation is a safety net designed to provide employees with compensation if they are injured while working. This means that if your job results in you being injured, you can “be made whole again” by having all medical bills, wages, and other expenses covered. Understanding how workers’ compensation is important for ensuring that you receive the compensation you are owed. If you do not have a good understanding of the system, you may not realize that you deserve more than you receive. One of the first questions many workers have is who is actually the party who pays the injured employee.
Who Is Responsible
Because it is the employer who created a situation that resulted in injury, it is the employer who pays the injured party. Of course, this can take many different forms. Additionally, each state has slightly different regulations and laws surrounding workers’ comp, so it is important for you to research the laws of your home state. Alternatively, you can speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer to get a better understanding. Generally, one of two situations will apply:
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance – It may be the case that an employer takes advantage of workers’ comp insurance. If this is the case, they make occasional payments to their policy, and the actual compensation for the employee comes from the insurance company. This is an especially common choice for smaller businesses. There are a few things to keep in mind if this is how your employer handles things. Your state may require employers to get workers’ comp insurance, or it may simply encourage it. There are usually state-run workers’ comp insurance programs, although they may or may not be required. Sometimes employers can choose a private insurance company.
- Self-Insurance – In some states, employers can choose to handle workers’ comp themselves. If this is the case, your employer will pay you directly. Some states require businesses to prove that the owner has the means to cover workers’ comp cases if they were to arise. If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, it may be slightly riskier. Legally, they must be able to cover cases, but this does not always happen.
Keep in mind that the party responsible for your injury is always accountable, even if you do not qualify for workers’ comp. Filing a lawsuit is the more traditional way to receive compensation for injuries, and this is always an option if workers’ compensation does not apply. Speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer or personal injury lawyer to learn more.