Employees who may be injured on the job stand to lose a lot due to the high cost of medical care and the loss of wages that might result from their inability to continue working. Workers compensation insurance coverage will pay for these medical bills and lost wages through a policy of insurance purchased by the employer. Employees need the workers compensation benefits and the employer needs a workers compensation policy.
Before Workers Compensation Laws
Before workers compensation insurance was mandatory, employees who were injured on a job would have to sue their employer in order to have their medical bills or lost wages paid. Under the old laws, the employer may have only been obligated to pay these costs if they were found negligent. If a court of law found that the employee’s own negligence caused the accident, that employee would be left with nothing.
Employee Benefits Today
Today, worker’s compensation provides benefits to an employee regardless of whose fault the accident may have been. If an employee is injured while on duty at their job, workers compensation benefits will apply. In order to enjoy such benefits, workers have had to relinquish their right to sue an employer directly in tort. This means that they must take advantage of the worker’s compensation benefits, which is commonly referred to as an employee’s “exclusive remedy”.
Damages for pain and suffering are no longer available to an employee from an employer, but there are situations where an injury that occurs on the job can result in a secondary claim against someone involved in that employee’s activities. For example, if an employee was using a piece of defective equipment that caused an injury on the job, they will not be able to sue their employer but they could sue the manufacturer of the defective equipment in tort and collect damages.
In summary, anyone who has employees will need a worker’s compensation insurance policy. Without such a policy in place, a court could find that an employer must pay all of the medical bills and lost wages for the injured employee out of their own funds, and they may be subject to fines for non-compliance with workers compensation laws.