Workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ comp or workman’s comp, is a set of state laws designed to protect people that have been injured or disabled in the workplace. Fixed monetary values are awarded to employees with medical bills and lost wages as a result of an injury at the workplace. For those workers killed on the job, benefits are also provided to beneficiaries of workers. These laws have been created to protect employers and employees. In order to prevent injured workers from abusing the system, the monetary values are limited and fixed.
Workers’ compensation acts provide a system for hearings and judicial decisions by administrative law judges. General damages for pain and suffering are not included. If an injured worker feels as though there was a significant amount of damage due to negligence, he/she may waive their right to workers’ compensation and instead chose to sue the employer. The injured person also has the right to sue a third party that may have contributed to the injury or illness.
Employers can carry workers’ compensation insurance but there are federal programs to aid those injured in a workplace without insurance. In many circumstances, the injured worker is covered for accidents that occur as a result of negligence. The employer/employee may have to undergo job retraining for safety purposes after a workplace accident.
State laws regarding workers’ compensation vary from state to state and it also varies in different industries. It is important to seek out a lawyer who is knowledgeable in both industry and state laws.