Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job.
Job-related injuries lead to needing to take time off work, or even needing to find an entirely new job. This can be detrimental to anyone’s financial stability, which is why workers’ compensation exists.
But what is workers’ compensation, and who is eligible for it? In this blog, we answer these questions and more, so you can understand what will happen if you get injured as a result of your job.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation exists to protect both businesses and workers if an accident occurs on the job, leading to an injury, or a worker gets sick from a work-related cause.
It’s a form of insurance that replaces lost wages and provides medical benefits following a work-related incident.
Workers’ comp also protects businesses because when a business is covered with workers’ comp insurance, an employee can’t sue the business after a work-related injury. This prevents a business from taking a huge financial blow following an on-site accident.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Comp?
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must meet two criteria:
- You must be an employee at a company that has (or is supposed to have) workers compensation insurance
- You must have been injured at work or as a result of work-related duties
If you aren’t an employee, but instead are an independent contractor, freelancer, or consultant, you won’t be eligible for workers’ compensation.
What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
Almost every work-related injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Common injuries on the job that are eligible for compensation include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Straining your back while lifting something
- Injuring yourself using machinery
If you become sick from unhealthy or hazardous working conditions, you are also eligible for compensation. Some examples of this include:
- Exposure to toxic fumes
- Contact with hazardous materials
There are also instances where a worker might get injured off-site, but still be eligible for workers’ compensation. Some examples of this include:
- Telecommuting from home and get injured on your computer
- Car accidents while performing job-related duties
- Office parties where you get injured
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Injured?
If you’re an employee of a company that has workers’ compensation insurance, it’s important to know exactly what to do following an accident.
After tending to your injury, you need to fill out an accident report with all of the details of what happened. Include the injuries you have suffered as a result of the work-related accident.
Submit the accident report as soon as possible to your employer. It is then the responsibility of your employer to file a claim so you can get compensated for your injury.
If you believe you have not received the appropriate compensation for your injury, you can find a lawyer to represent you in court against the insurance company.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to understand the answer to ‘what is workers’ compensation’ so you can get compensated for your injury.
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