Top 5 things to know about workers’ compensation

Posted in Business

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Most of us understand the basics of workers’ compensation: if an employee gets hurt on the job, they’re compensated for work they miss over and above any statutory waiting period and their medical bills will be covered. However, there’s a bit more to workers’ comp that both employers and employees need to know.

Let’s go over the top five things to know about workers’ comp.

1. If an employee suffers an injury or illness while on the job, they may receive workers’ comp.

This could include a slip or fall, a twisted ankle, an accident with machinery, sprains/strains from lifting, and traveling employees whose employment requires travel while performing service. It is important for employer’s to report any injuries timely to their insurance carrier to avoid penalty, and this will also assist in the prompt investigation of their claims. However, there are incidents that may not be covered under workers’ comp and some examples are; any intentional self-inflicted injuries, idiopathic falls, or if the employee was injured while voluntarily participating in an off-duty activity.

2. Employees will be compensated for lost wages and medical bills under workers’ comp.

Employees will receive a portion of their income while they are not able to work. Benefits for temporary wage loss during the healing period - temporary partial disability (TPD) or temporary total disability (TTD) are provided to sustain an employee while recovering from an injury. Eligibility for temporary disability benefits is determined and must be documented by a doctor. They’ll also receive coverage for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Vocational rehabilitation and retraining may also be covered.

3. Employees cannot sue their employer if a work-related injury or illness happens while on the job.

Workers’ comp is a trade-off for employees and their employer. An employee receives wage replacement and medical benefits and therefore cannot sue his/her employer. The only time an employee can sue would be if the employer was reckless or there was intentional action to hurt the employee.

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4. Not all employers have workers’ comp.

This is dependent on state laws. Factors such as number of employees, type of business and type of work come into play. For instance, some states do not cover workers’ comp for farmers, volunteers or seasonal help. However, businesses need to look at their state’s law to understand if they are required to purchase workers’ comp.

5. Some of the most common workers’ comp claims include: overexertion, slips or falls, struck by an object, machinery accidents.

Employers can minimize the risk of work-related injury and illness by implementing safety requirements and providing safety training courses. Some employers choose to hire a risk manager who assesses workplace environments to ensure employees’ safety.

Although no employer ever wants their employees to get hurt while on the job, accidents do happen. If an employer is not fully prepared with a workers’ comp policy, the incident could bankrupt their business. It’s best for employers to meet with their independent insurance agent and review the terms and conditions of their policy so they can be prepared in worst-case scenarios.

The above information is a generalization and for informational and suggestion purposes only. Implementing one or more of these suggestions does not guarantee coverage. If any policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. You should always consult with your independent insurance agent and review your policy every time. Find a local, independent Integrity insurance agent to start protecting your small business and employees today.

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