Workman’s compensation settlements are designed to protect workers injured on the job. Compensation laws vary from state to state but generally, employees injured on the job are entitled to receive compensation for the time away from work.
Workers’ Compensation Laws Description
In the United States, workers’ compensation coverage is a form of insurance that provides medical treatment and time loss benefits at minimum for workers who are injured while performing a job duty. The employer provides this insurance in exchange for the workers right to sue. Employees working in certain occupations, such as for railroad companies, on boats, nuclear energy workers and on boats, also receive special additional protections. At the end of a claim, there may be a workmans comp settlement.
Although this payment is often paid out to injured workers in a lump sum, some insurers make provisions to provide weekly payments to the worker. Often times, workers filing for compensation do not receive additional money for pain and suffering or punitive damages.
History of Worker’s Compensation Laws
Worker’s compensation laws were passed in the mid-1800s by states. Georgia and Alabama passed legislation known as the Employer Liability Act in 1855. Within the next 50 years, 26 other states followed suits. This legislation allowed employees to sue employers if they were injured.
Maryland in 1902 became the first state in the nation to enact a worker’s compensation law. Federal worker were covered under a similar law by 1906. By 1949, all states had enacted a workman’s compensation law.
For workers that suffer permanent disability related to their job, an independent medical examination will be used to evaluate the worker’s injury. The compensation insurer pays these medical practitioners, in part. This third-party will examine your injuries to make any recommendations to the compensation insurance company.
Workman’s compensation settlements are used for any bodily injury that occurs while working. Common causes of injuries include poor ergonomics, misuse or failure of equipment, exposure to general hazards and inadequate safety training.
Depending on your work environment, there are likely safety hazards that you have to deal with. Certain jobs in factories may be more dangerous than office jobs, however there are hazards in every work environment. Hazards such as fire, electricity, chemicals and machinery can all cause an increase in compensation settlements.
Although many high-risk jobs are at factories or other blue-collar environments, office work can also be dangerous. Repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel, can occur in office jobs. A slip and fall can happen most anywhere.
There are some exceptions for certain type of on-the-job injuries. In some cases, you may be able to sue for negligence in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. If you are not sure if your injury qualifies, talk to a lawyer that specializes in compensation claims.
Worker’s compensation settlements are a bid decision and can be confusing. If you have been injured on the job, it is important that you know your rights. Before you sign any documents, talk to a lawyer. Once you accept the worker’s compensation settlement, you won’t be able to reopen your claim or sue in the future.