Workers' compensation is a system that exists in all states to protect workers who become hurt on the job or contract an illness as a result of their job. Fundamentally, the system works like this: when a worker becomes injured, rather than sue their employer, they can file a claim for compensation for the employer's workers' comp insurance company. The workers' compensation program used to be known as "workman's comp."
Workers' comp is a no-fault benefit system designed to help workers who have become injured or sick due to their work conditions or environment. Unfortunately, it is also a system whose outcomes are often unfair to sick and injured workers. Because the system is complicated, to win a workers' comp claim, a worker should learn about the workers' compensation system in their state and consider hiring a workers' compensation attorney or lawyer to handle a claim, if they can find one.
Benefits provided by the workers' comp system normally include medical care and payment of a certain percentage of a worker's wages, in exchange for the employee's not being able to sue the employer (except in cases involving extreme negligence).
To be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, there are two basic requirements:
- You must be an employee of a company that has (or was supposed to have) workers’ comp insurance.
- You must have been injured at work or as a result of job-related duties.
Learn more about eligibility for workers' comp, including what employees and what injuries are covered.