Beginner’s Guide to Workers Compensation Law

Workers Comp Attorney

Workers’ compensation is a term that’s tossed around quite a bit. And whether you’re a new business owner or an employee, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basics of this important, state-regulated program.

Ready for a crash course in workers’ compensation law? Keep reading to learn the ropes.

Why Workers’ Compensation Is Important

Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated program that protects and provides financial support for employees who have been injured on the job. And it’s not just important for employees. In fact, workers’ compensation is extremely important for employers to have, even if they only have one person working for them. This program ensures that both the business and its employees are protected.

Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is paid for by the business owners. Employees are not allowed to contribute to this insurance by law. It is the business owner’s responsibility to make sure this program is in place. That way, when an employee is injured on the job, a claim can be filed and both parties (the business and the employee) can walk away knowing that federal and state laws are being properly observed.

Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Cover Everything

While workers’ compensation does cover injuries and illnesses caused directly by the job, it doesn’t cover everything. For example, if an employee was injured on the job because they were intoxicated while working, that claim could not fall under workers’ compensation. In cases like that, it is solely the employee’s fault for coming to work in an unfit state.

Employers Can Dispute Workers’ Compensation Claims

As mentioned above, there are cases in which workers’ comp won’t cover an employee. In addition, there are some cases in which an employer can dispute an employees claim. In this way, workers’ compensation also protects employers. Some of the more frequently used employer defenses include:

  • Assumption of Risk: This defense implies that the employee already had a sound knowledge of the risk involved with their work. In other words, they could have been fully aware and prepped for a similar accident to happen.
  • The Fellow Worker Rule: If an employer is using this defense, it typically means that another employee’s negligence was responsible for the injury being disputed.
  • Contributory Negligence: Rather than another employee’s negligence causing an accident, this implies that the employee who was injured was behaving negligently.

Workers’ Compensation Goes Toward More Than Wages

Workers’ compensation is typically talked about in terms of injured employees being compensated for their lost wages while they are unable to work. However, that’s not the only avenue this money goes towards. Rather, workers’ compensation helps injured employees cover medical expenses as a result of their injuries. Initial diagnosis, treatment, and rehab are all considered additional medical costs associated with a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation might not seem like the most important thing in the world at first glance. But once you take the time to learn the basics, you’ll realize just how important it is for business owners and employees alike.

If you have more questions about workers’ compensation law, make sure you contact a workers comp attorney Queens, NY offers today.

Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and a beginners guide.