There are regulations that mandate companies with a certain number of employees to offer workers’ compensation coverage in almost every state. Regardless if you are required to have workers’ comp or opt to on your own, it’s important that you are informed of what benefits are available and what procedures you should take if a workplace accident does happen. There are also tax consequences to consider from the benefits.
Workers’ compensation laws, which are set by each state to protect workers if they are injured or sick and plagued by lost wages and medical expenses. Luckily, employees are covered by workers’ comp in the majority of states. However, if coverage is not required, you can voluntarily enroll in the state’s program to safeguard both your employees and your company.
If you are unclear on what the specific laws are for your state, speak with work injury attorneys that know the ins and outs of the laws. An attorney can advise about the best course of action in the event that something happens.
Regarding benefits, state laws surrounding workers’ compensation have a few things in common:
– Injuries caused by job-related accidents are covered by a work comp attorney. When an injury occurs, it must take place during an employee’s “course of employment” to qualify for benefits.
– Loss of wages, medical expenses and death is covered under benefits of workers’ comp. Generally, benefits regarding loss of wages will pay half or 2/3 of the salary an employee averages on a weekly basis.
– “Employees” that are covered are defined in workers’ comp laws. Independent contractors are often not considered “employees” under workers’ compensation benefits.
– Fault isn’t usually a concern. Even if an employee’s own carelessness results in producing the accident, as well as the total absence of culpability, are not considered in determining whether the worker is entitled to benefits.
– Employees relinquish their right to file a lawsuit for any harm they suffered that is already covered by workers’ compensation in return for the guaranteed benefits. Of course, please try an accident lawyers free consultation to make sure there aren’t any circumstances where this would change.
– Employees can keep the ability to sue a third party who is found to be negligent. If there is a third party who contributed to the accident, the employee may be able to go after them, with any settlement funds being used to compensate you for benefits that were granted to the employee.
– An agency run by the state oversees the workers’ comp system, and the administration of the system is delegated to the state agency.
It’s important to remember that any workers’ compensation payments are only available for injuries sustained on the job. if your injuries were self-inflicted or were the result of the use of alcohol or illicit drugs, these would not be eligible for benefits. Benefits that may be claimed include:
– the replacement of income for a temporary or permanent disability
– the costs of medical expenses or rehabilitation
– survivor benefits in the event of a fatal ailment or injury
Furthermore, coverage is granted for certain occupational disorders as defined by state legislation.
Laws For Workers’ Comp Vary By State
Do you have to comply with workers’ compensation laws for your state? All companies that employ at least one person are covered in most states. Some small businesses are exempt, but not all states have a uniform definition of what is considered a small business. There are states where a company with less than three employees are not included. However, others will make this same exemption to a business with less than four employees and some with five or less. You may, of course, opt to join in the state program even if you’re exempt.
To see whether you’re protected by workers’ compensation legislation in your state, do your own research for specifics or view this state-by-state comparison