Workers' compensation is there for people who get hurt on the job. Its purpose is to protect these workers by providing them with much-needed benefits such as coverage for lost wages and medical expenses.
Workers' compensation has benefits beyond paying for your medical care, though. For example, did you know that workers' compensation will cover your death, rehabilitation and retraining for a new position and pay you out for any permanent injuries?
Workers' compensation is most important for:
- Wage replacement
- Medicare care costs
- Death benefits
- Permanent injury benefits
Here are a few examples.
If you are hurt on the job and have your leg amputated, you may be compensated for your permanent injury, the lost wages from the time when you could not work and for your medical costs. You may go on to request retraining, which workers' compensation also has to pay for.
If you suffer a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work, then workers' compensation continues to pay out until your condition stabilizes or until the compensation allowance is maxed out. Then, you switch to disability benefits in most cases.
Can you sue your employer after receiving workers' compensation?
No, if you choose to file a workers' compensation claim, you cannot sue your employer, in most cases. However, if there is proof that the employer attempted to hurt you or was intentionally setting up hazards in the workplace, there could be an argument made that a civil lawsuit should be filed against them as well. Workers' compensation doesn't cover pain and suffering, while a personal injury claim can.
You may choose to sue your employer instead of taking workers' compensation if you believe that you will receive a better settlement through this method. However, you will waive your right to workers' compensation if you choose to sue, which could end up costing you if the award given by the court is not as comprehensive as workers' compensation would have been.
There are plenty of misconceptions about workers' compensation, so it's important to do what you can to learn more about your employer's specific policy and what it does for you. In most situations, workers' compensation covers at least the five benefits mentioned above. These benefits help you get back on your feet and encourage you to get the medical care you need without having to worry about financial losses or going back to work.