Which State Law is applicable to workers’ compensation benefits?
Under the purview of state laws, every US state has workers’ compensation laws. These are meant to protect and preserve the legal rights of employees to help them recover the cost of medical expenses and earning loss due to workplace accidents, injuries, or any disease. In most states, workers’ recompense coverage is a must. However, if it is not mandatory for an employer, being voluntarily involved in the state’s program is largely considered as a wise decision when it comes to protecting one’s employees and business.
Here are some attributes shared by state laws governing workers’ compensation laws with respect to employee benefits:
>> BENEFITS FOR INJURIES DUE TO JOB-RELATED ACCIDENTS:
Employees are entitled to receive benefits from their employers when they suffer injuries due to some accidents while being employed by and working for their respective employers.
>> BENEFITS INCLUDE MEDICAL, DEATH, AND WAGE-LOSS BENEFITS:
In general, earning loss benefits cover nearly one-half to two-third of a victim’s mean weekly earning.
>> COVERED “EMPLOYEES” GOVERNED BY STATE LAW:
The term “employees” does not include independent contractors.
- Fault usually not considered an issue: Fortunately, neither employees’ status of not being completely faulty nor their employer’s negligence is considered while deciding whether an employee will be given benefits.
- Employees surrender right to sue employers: In lieu of workers’ compensation benefits, employees surrender their right to sue their employers for any injury covered under state laws related to workers’ compensation.
- Employees preserve right to sue any careless 3rd party: If the negligent behavior of a 3rd party caused the incident, the injured employee can still sue the wrongdoer; any proceedings following the lawsuit should be first applied to reimburse you for the benefits paid to the employee.
- Process implemented by state agencies: State agencies have the authority to implement the whole process of making injured employees receive workers’ compensation from their respective employers.
It is to be borne in mind that benefits under workers’ compensation are given exclusively for work-related injuries. Benefits aren’t payable for self-induced injuries or those that are caused due to substance abuse or intoxication. Benefits that are payable are as follows:
- Earning replacement for total or partial disability of permanent or temporary nature
- Rehabilitation and medical expenses
- Benefits to survivors of fatal injury or illness
Whether the injury is related to work or not depends on the circumstances under which the accident took place. What is crucial to remember is that if you think the accident is related to work but there are some chances that the concerned insurance company or agency may discover that it is not pertaining to work, you should collect facts to support your point and be well-prepared in advance to present your arguments.
In case you have sustained work-related injuries, you can consider discussing your case with an experienced workplace injury attorney at the Law Offices of Clay Burgess to see what you are entitled to.