Workers’ Compensation Basics

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system by which an employee receives benefits such as lost wages and recompense for medical expenses after an injury that occurs on the job or an illness that results from one’s occupation. If you are hurt on the job, you can file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company or a state-run system. Assuming that your claim is approved, you can receive medical benefits for treatment related to your condition and at least a portion of the wages that you lose from missing work during your recovery.

In theory, workers’ compensation provides advantages for both you and your employer. However, in practice the system does not always work as well as it is supposed to.

Avoidance of Lawsuits

Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, you do not have to prove to a court that your employer did something wrong in order to receive compensation. This means that you can receive benefits without having to file a lawsuit.

Before the workers’ compensation system was in place, you would have had to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. Lawsuits often took a long time, and the outcome was not guaranteed, which would mean that even after going through all the trouble and expense of a lawsuit, you may still have ended up with nothing.

Avoiding lawsuits is in employers’ interests as well. Even if the court found in favor of the employer, the lawsuit would cost a great deal of money to litigate. Workers’ compensation benefits are often less than what an employer would have had to pay in damages if the court defense was unsuccessful.

Potential Drawbacks

For all its potential advantages, the workers’ compensation program can sometimes be very unfair to workers. Workers’ compensation insurance companies often look for any possible excuse to deny a claim. This may mean looking at your social media feeds to find evidence or having covert agents follow your movements to look for evidence that your injuries are not that extensive. Though this can be unsettling, the law allows it up to a certain point. For example, anything that you post publicly to social media becomes fair game, and the law may not protect you even if you post privately.

You may have difficulty recovering compensation if your injury occurred because of repetitive use. Such injuries occur over time rather than as the result of one traumatic incident. Make no mistake that repetitive use injuries are compensable, but the insurance company may try to assert that the actual cause was not work related.

If you feel that you have not been treated fairly with regard to workers’ compensation, contact Newark work injury attorneys. They would be happy to help you receive what you deserve.

Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and the basics to know.