INTRODUCTION TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Every State has a workers’ compensation system that is designed to protect individuals who have been injured on the job. Additionally, maritime workers and certain civilian contractors are also protected.
In order to be entitled to those benefits the worker must suffer an accident arising out of the course of employment. In other words the worker must be performing a task for the employer at the time of the injury.
Once an individual is injured the injured worker must report the injury in a timely fashion to the appropriate person within the organization, usually the supervisor.
If the injured worker misses a predetermined amount of days, the employer is then obligated to provide certain benefits: income or indemnity benefits and medical benefits. The duration of the benefits will vary on the particular workers’ compensation act that may be involved. Each jurisdiction provides their own limits.
In addition to the indemnity benefits the employer must also provide medical benefits so that the worker can hopefully recover as much as possible.
The stated purpose of any of these Acts is to provide a certain amount of benefits so that the injured worker can return to the workforce.
Please keep in mind that this is a “No Fault” system; you can be totally at fault or no one can be at fault and you are still be entitled to the benefits. However, the benefits are limited. Under these Acts there is NO benefit for pain and suffering and there is also NO right to a jury trial as all matters are handled by a Judge.
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