Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of liability insurance where the employer assumes complete liability for all worker injuries and in California, all businesses with one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees (California Labor Code Section 3700). Since the purpose of worker’s compensation is to help workers if they are hurt on the job, the employer cannot charge the employee for workers comp.
Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim
When a California employee is hurt on the job, they are entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim and have a right to benefits under California’s Workers Compensation Act. If an employee gets hurt or sick because of work and the employer is not insured, the employer is responsible for paying all bills related to the injury or illness. Workers comp coverage is advisable in order to avoid serious penalties.
What Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
Before we discuss this, it’s important to note that just because an employee files a worker’s compensation claim doesn’t mean that they will qualify for every benefit (or any benefit). Worker’s compensation generally covers:
– The cost of medical care directly related to the injury. This could include a trip to urgent care, the hospital, physical therapy, a stay in the hospital, crutches, a wheelchair, medications, or whatever legitimate medical care the employee needs to get well.
– Partial wages. In some claims, employees are paid partial wages while they are unable to work because of their injury.
– Temporary or permanent disability. If the worker is temporarily or permanently disabled because of their on-the-job injury, they may be entitled to disability payments through worker’s compensation.
– Vocational training. If the on-the-job injury was so severe that the worker will not be able to return to their former occupation, they may be entitled to receive vocational training.
Worker’s Comp Doesn’t Always Protect Employers from Lawsuits
Merely having workers comp insurance is sometimes not enough to protect a business from a workers comp lawsuit. Since workers comp is in place to provide five basic benefits (medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, and death benefits), if the employee doesn’t believe that they’re being treated fairly by their employer or the insurance company, they may opt to hire an attorney to help them with their claim. This is particularly common if the worker believes that their injury happened because the employee was willfully negligent or committed serious misconduct.
For more information on workers comp claims, contact experienced business attorney Drew E. Pomerance today.