Workers’ Compensation Law 101

There are a lot of complicated and confusing legal terms that get tossed around when talking about workers’ compensation. The in-depth meaning of terms like actuarial computation, double indemnity, earning capacity, and statutory benefits is not really necessary information that you have to master when seeking compensation for a work-related injury.

However, you should find lawyer who not only understands these concepts, but can put them to use in your case and win the trial.

Although you can let your attorney handle the legal procedures, gathering evidence, and completing all the details, it is important that you at least have a basic understanding of what workers’ compensation law is and what situations it applies to.

Definition
Workers’ compensation law is a legal system wherein an employer must pay, or provide insurance to, employees who incur injuries on the job. This system is set in place to provide injured workers with:

  • Compensation for lost wages and time at work
  • Compensation of medical expenses and recovery from the injury
  • Career rehabilitation services
  • Temporary job for the victim to do until they heal
  • Benefits to dependants (in the case of death)

The goal of workers’ compensation law is to provide the safest, healthiest, and fasted road to recovery for an injured worker, so they can get back to performing at the same level they were before the incident, and support themselves and their family.

Workers’ comp law also functions to protect employers and businesses from suffering massive losses in expensive lawsuits. Rather than going through lengthy and costly court proceedings, most workers’ comp cases are solved in an administrative tribunal, which gets the employee back to work sooner, and lessens the risk (and cost) of the company being sued.

Interestingly, workers’ compensation is one of the only legal areas in which negligence does not play an important role. In other personal injury cases, victims must first prove that the defendant is at fault for the damage because of their negligence.

However, in workers’ compensation law, whether it was the employee or the employer’s negligence that caused the injury is irrelevant. If a worker get’s hurt on the job, then he or she is entitled to compensation. It may not matter who is at fault or behaved incorrectly, which is why almost all businesses are required to carry insurance.

Of course, making a successful workers’ comp claim is not as cut and dry as it might seem.

In many workers’ compensation cases, insurance companies try to “bully” victims into accepting an insufficient settlement or low offer. They do this by arguing that the injury was preexisting, did not occur because of work, or listing the medical expenses much cheaper than they really are.

Although insurance companies are paid by employers to cover the costs of an injured worker, they employ sneaky tactics to find loopholes in the system, which is why you need a lawyer who specializes in work-related injuries to represent you in front of big insurance players.