What is workers’ compensation?
Each state has laws regarding protection of workers who sustain a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that the majority of employers are required to purchase. This insurance will cover the costs of any illness or injury a worker suffers that is related to their job, as well as cover a percentage of what that worker’s pay is.
Does the injury have to take place at the workplace in order to be covered?
As long as the worker’s injury is related to their job, then they are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. A worker who is conducting a job-related errand, traveling on business, or attending a required business-related event will be covered if they are injured.
Are all job-related injuries covered by worker’s compensation benefits?
The majority of injuries a worker sustains are covered, however, there are some exceptions, including if the worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury occurred.
Other reasons why a claim could be denied include:
- If the injuries were sustained while the injured employee was committing a crime;
- If the injuries were sustained when the injured employee was engaging in behavior that violated company policy;
- If the injuries were sustained while the employee was not on the job; or
- If the injuries were self-inflicted.
Will workers’ compensation cover long-term or permanent illnesses or other health problems?
There are other types of health issues that workers’ compensation will cover besides injuries caused by accidents or incidents, such as cutting themselves with machinery or falling. There are many types of health issues that can be classified as workers’ comp cases, including lung disease, repetitive stress injuries, heart conditions, and chronic back issues. If the condition can be traced back to the employee’s job, then they should qualify for benefits.
If it just medical expenses that workers’ compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation covers all medical expenses, including diagnostic testing, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment. But the insurance also provides disability benefits to the injured employee. The amount the employee will receive is usually two-thirds of their regular salary.
Each state sets its own rules on workers’ compensation and what benefits a worker can receive, and depending on the state they live in, an injured worker may also qualify for vocational rehabilitation, education or retraining, and other benefits.
Can injured workers be treated by their own doctor?
Again, this question depends on the state you live in and what those rules are. In some states, workers are able to choose the doctor they want to treat them. In other states, the worker is required to see a doctor that the employer and/or insurance company designates.
Many injured workers who are required to see a designated doctor are concerned that the doctor may have a conflict of interest because of the relationship they have with the workers’ compensation insurance company. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can assist a worker in requesting that the worker be allowed to see a physician of their choice if this becomes an issue. In the event you need legal advice, do not hesitate and contact a professional workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits you need.
Thank you to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for providing insight workers’ compensation.