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If you sustained an injury or fell ill as a result of your job, learn your rights under workers compensation laws and the responsibilities you and your employer have. Most employees who are injured on the job have the absolute right to medical care for any injury. In many cases, they also have the absolute right to monetary payments to compensate for temporary or permanent disabilities. Workers compensation laws provide wage replacement and medical benefits for employees who are injured or fall ill in the course of employment. In exchange, the ill or injured employee relinquishes the right to sue his or her employee for negligence. In most states, employers are required by law to have workman’s compensation insurance. Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is important to educate yourself on workers compensation laws.
What Benefits Do Employees Receive?
Under federal workers compensation laws, injured and ill employees receive benefits in order to facilitate an eventual return to the workplace. All workers compensation laws require that insurance providers to give four key benefits. First, employees receive complete coverage of medical expenses. Next, injured or ill employees will receive indemnity payments for temporary and permanent disabilities. These payments are anywhere from 66 to 80 percent of the lost wages. Physical and vocational rehabilitation is another benefit provided by workers compensation insurance. Finally, they must provide benefits payable to the dependents of workers who are lose their lives during employment. This functions as a form of life insurance.
What Workers Compensation Rights Do Employees Have?
In all states, the employee claiming workers compensation has the right to hire a workers compensation attorney to present them. Ill or injured employees can also appeal disputed or delayed claims with their state compensation law commission. Claimants have the right to select their own physician in the majority of states, but keep in mind that state workers compensation laws vary from state to state.
What Responsibilities Do Employers Have?
Each state workers compensation laws are different, but broadly speaking there are a few laws they must act in accordance with in order to prevent their injured employee from filling a lawsuit. Employers must have all applicable workers compensation forms on hand. For example, the first report of injury form. Having these forms available enables employees to file claims easily and quickly. The employer must also attend to the immediate medical needs of an employee that suffers a work-related illness or injury. Due to occupational injury, all employee medical costs are to be billed to the employer’s workman’s comp fund or insurer. In no circumstances are medical expenses to be billed to the employee’s health plan.
What Benefits Do Employers Receive?
When employees with occupational injuries or illness are compensated through the insurance program, they forfeit the right to sue their employer for personal injury or negligence. In some states, employers can dispute the claims if they believe there to be circumstances involving self-inflicted wounds, intoxication, failure to follow safety rules, or failure to use safety devices.
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