Many workers injured on the job are unsure of how to navigate the workers’ compensation and legal systems. They worry: “Do I have to sue my employer?” To most workers is it a relief to learn that you do not need to sue your employer to recover for your injuries. This is especially important to those who wish to avoid litigation which is costly, expensive, lengthy, and super stressful. In addition, knowing that you don’t have to sue your employer brings peace of mind to those who wish to return to work for that same employer once they are healed.
Workers’ Compensation has a Long History
The first workers’ compensation laws were passed 100 years ago. Read about how it first began on a previous blog post here: Development of Workers’ Compensation in America: “The Great Tradeoff”
Workers’ compensation is an Exclusive Remedy
This means that if your employer carries worker’s compensation insurance, you cannot, under most circumstances, sue that employer. Your remedy is through the workers’ compensation administrative law system, not litigation in the court system.
This means that in exchange for the benefit of worker’s compensation, you give up your right to sue. But, this also means that our employer can’t say your worker’s compensation claim is not valid. In other words, they can’t assert defenses to your claim.
Employer Defense to Workers’ Compensation Claims
While your employer can’t assert a defense to your claim such as contributory negligence or show that they were not at fault, the employer can fight your claim if your injury didn’t happen on the work site or within the scope of employment.
Workers’ Compensation Requires that Your Injury Occurred on the Job, not in the Workplace
If you were injured on the job site, there is no issue as to your workers’ compensation coverage.
But you don’t have to have been injured on the site so long as you were within the scope of employment. For example, you are covered if you were running a work-related errand, handling business off site, traveling on business, or attending a required work-related social function.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is a must for Most Employers
Most employers MUST carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is true even if there is only one employee.
Notable exemptions would be farming operations and where the owner of the business is the only employee.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is a must for Most Employees
All employees must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, excepting some farming employees and corporate officers. Even family member employees must be covered.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Medical expenses to diagnose and treat your work related injury are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, injured workers receive disability payments during any period of injury. The disability payments are usually 2/3 of your normal pay. If you need rehabilitation or retraining, those expenses are also covered.
Where to get Help if you’ve been Injured on the Job
The Law Offices of d’Oliveira & Associates, are prepared to help if you or a loved one has been injured on the job. While we can’t reverse your injuries, we can help you to get the medical treatment and compensation you deserve. Email us or call now for FREE case evaluation.
For your convenience, our telephones are answered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (1-800-992-6878).