Almost all employers in this country are required to purchase and maintain a Workers Compensation policy through a licensed insurer – exceptions and exclusions can vary by state. Workers Compensation, or Workers Comp, is a type of insurance which provides benefits to employees in the event of an injury; benefits usually cover pay replacement and medical coverage. This insurance pays out for on the job injuries and accidents which result in some type of loss – be it money or health.
What is the Purpose of Workers Comp?
While Workers Comp may seem like a protection for the employee if they are injured, that’s not exactly the case. By accepting the benefits through this program, the injured worker is basically relinquishing the company of any responsibilities; offering Workers Comp is essentially a settlement in exchange for the employee not filing a lawsuit. This type of bargain gets companies off the hook for negligence, unsafe conditions, and ensures that they won’t have to pay out big judgments for employees who have been injured on the job.
Receiving Benefits and When to Refuse Them
In some cases, a company might directly or indirectly try to interfere with the employee’s right to file (and sometimes not file) for benefits under Workers Comp. They might pressure the injured worker into feeling like they will face penalties at work or lose their job if they don’t comply either way, but the employee is the only one who should make that choice. If an injured worker has questions about Workers Comp benefits and what exactly is covered, the first step is consulting with the company’s HR director. If questions still remain after consulting HR, it may be in the employee’s best interest to consult an attorney about their choices for taking the Workers Comp benefits offered to them or pursuing further compensation from the company to cover losses.
Written on behalf of Land, Parker & Welch, P.A. A workers’ compensation law firm located in South Carolina. Formore information, please visit us at www.lpwlawfirm.com.