Many people work dangerous jobs. Luckily, there is a system in place in the United States that protects them. If anyone is injured, workers’ compensation will ensure that all financial losses are covered. It really is as simple as that. After reading this short guide, you will know everything you need to know about the workers’ comp system.
What Is Covered by Workers’ Comp
The workers’ comp system aims to return any injured employee to the financial situation he or she was in prior to the injury. This means that all financial losses are covered, regardless of what form they take. This includes:
- Medical bills
- The purchase of medicine
- Missed paychecks
- Loss of earning ability
Essentially, if your injury caused you to lose money, workers’ comp will replace that amount of money. The system does not allow anyone to profit from an injury, only compensating them for the exact amount of loss. Workers’ comp also does not cover non-financial losses, such as physical pain or emotional trauma.
How To Know if You Are Covered
There are two requirements for an injury to be covered by workers’ comp. These requirements are very easy to understand, making it crystal clear when you are covered. The first requirement is that you are an employee. Only employees can be compensated by workers’ comp. This may sound like anyone with a job is covered, but there are other types of employment. The easiest way to tell if you are an employee is whether a portion of your paycheck is withheld for taxes. Employees do have a portion of their paycheck withheld, but all other types of employment do not. Common types of non-employees include volunteers, independent contractors, and freelance workers.
The second requirement is that the injury was caused by work-related activities. You do not necessarily need to have been on the clock when the injury happened, but the injury must have resulted from you or a co-worker doing something to benefit the company. This means you possibly could be injured outside of the workplace and still be covered. For instance, if you were fetching supplies from a store, that counts of work-related activities. If the injury is caused by someone unrelated to your job, then you should file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ comp claim.
If you are unsure whether your injury should be covered by workers’ comp, you should immediately speak with a workers’ comp attorney, like a Milwaukee work injury lawyer from Hickey & Turim, SC. You can be denied if you wait too long, so seek legal advice immediately.