What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers' compensation is a system that exists to provide for employees that suffered injuries on the job. In order to secure workers' comp, you will need to go through a fairly straightforward process that you might not be familiar with. To help you get started, here is a brief introduction to the subject:

What is workers' comp?

Workers' compensation is an insurance program that is heavily tied to the government. It varies by state, and some states require workers' comp while others do not. If your state does require it, then your company must pay some amount of money to a workers' comp insurance company. If someone at your company gets injured and successfully files a workers' comp claim, then they will be compensated by the insurance company rather than by their employer. Ultimately, workers' comp works similar to most forms of personal insurance, just on a much larger scale.

Why does workers' comp exist?

  • First, workers' comp protects the employer from lawsuits. If you get workers' comp, then you also forfeit the right to sue your employer for that same injury. Your employer probably doesn't want the bad publicity of a lawsuit and neither does it want to spend money on legal fees.
  • Secondly, workers' comp allows employees to have a secure and reliable means of getting compensation for injuries that were received as a result of work. Workers' comp is a lot more reliable than lawsuits, since you don't need to spend money on legal fees for a case that you might not even win.

How does the filing process work?

In general, the process isn't too complicated. You will need to report your injury to your employee shortly after you sustained it. There are usually requirements that you report the injury within a certain number of months or years after the injury or else you cannot file. If you didn't discover the injury for a long period of time, then you just need to report it within a certain period of time after you discover it. The exact periods of time involved vary from state to state, but you will generally be safe if you report your injury within two months.

Your employer should then have you fill out some forms about your injury. Once those have been submitted, the insurance company will verify your injury and possibly have a medical examination conducted. If everything goes well, you will be granted workers' comp.

However, if you don't pass, then you can still possibly appeal the decision. This will vary from state to state, and you will need to consult the appeals board for your specific state to figure out what you need to do.