Believe it or not, the first law that talked about workers’ compensation happened over 100 years ago. Obviously, ever since then, it was modified and several benefits were added. The only problem though is that workers comp laws vary a lot from one state to the next. There are also differences when we look at federal workers and even small business workforces versus large businesses.
To better understand how complex workers comp claims can be, let’s mention some facts that might surprise you.
Before Workers’ Compensation Claims, You Had To Go To Court
Workers’ compensation insurance appeared because of the fact that there were too many situations in which employees had to go to court in order to get paid for the damages they suffered as the employers were negligent. This new insurance policy made the process a lot smoother and faster. It allowed people to get money faster when being injured.
Companies Are Often Not Forced To Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In some states, workers’ compensation insurance is mandated by the state. However, this does depend a lot on the industry and how many employees the business has. For instance, in Georgia, such insurance is needed when there are over 3 employees present at one workplace. In California, it is needed for absolutely all work situations and employers.
Pain And Suffering Are Not Compensated
There are many things covered by workers’ compensation claims like lost wages, financial support when disabilities appear, and medical expenses. However, pain and suffering are not included. This means that in the event that it is possible, a better option in some situations is to file a personal injury lawsuit. But, this can be quite tricky since laws might stop you from doing this in some situations. Discussing your options with a personal injury attorney that fully understands worker comp laws can tell you exactly what to expect.
You Can Sue Your Employer Even With Worker Comp
This is a possibility when you sustained an injury and you can prove that the employer did something intentionally or recklessly that led to you being injured. It is also possible when the actions of the employer contributed to you being injured. However, in order to do this, you need to waive your rights to get compensation through worker comp.
In a similar way, if you do collect benefits from workers’ compensation, you will not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit anymore. However, you can do so against a third party that might have been partially or fully at fault.
You Can Get Benefits Even After You Get Back To Work
There are some situations in which you can receive continued benefits even if you get back to work. This includes situations like permanent partial disability or the situation in which you end up making less than how much you earned before the injury happened.
Basically, at the end of the day, it is really important that you discuss all the options you have with a personal injury attorney. Workers’ compensation is very beneficial for employees but you should still be aware of what you can and what you cannot do so that you receive the highest possible compensation.