Workers' compensation is intended to cover employee losses if they become sick or injured because of problems on the job. Businesses that have reliable workers' compensation programs in place can also protect themselves against lawsuits that employees may try to file. Learning the important facts about workers' compensation law can help employees and employers stay better protected.
An Initial Claim Rejection Isn't Always Finalized
Many employees who file workers' compensation claims that get rejected often feel discouraged from pursuing additional action, but the decision can sometimes be overturned successfully. Hiring a workers' compensation lawyer is advisable for anyone who wishes to appeal a rejected claim. It should also be noted that the appeals process can take several months, and sick or injured workers may need to find other ways to obtain funds to cover their losses until their cases are settled.
Workers' Compensation Coverage Requirements Often Vary by Staff Size
Businesses in some states are not required to have workers' compensation plans if their staff sizes are below a certain number. For example, businesses in Georgia only have to pay workers' compensation on claims if their staff sizes consist of more than three employees. Businesses in California must have workers' compensation plans to cover all employees regardless of workforce size.
Mental and Emotional Distress May Be Covered
Some workers' compensation programs cover extreme mental or emotional distress that some employees may have incurred on the job. To qualify for payments under this category, employees usually need to prove that the distressing events happened unexpectedly and are not just a regular part of the job. Laws for this type of workers' compensation vary by state, so it's important for employees and employers to review their local workers' compensation law statutes to see if these types of claims are compensable.
Employees Can Forgo Their Workers' Compensation Rights If They Wish to Sue
Having a workers' compensation program in place doesn't always protect a business from lawsuits. Employees can choose to sue the company instead to cover their damages if they choose to waive their workers' compensation rights. This course of action may be taken if a claim was rejected and a staff member wishes to file a lawsuit as a form of recourse. However, employees are generally advised to go through the appeals process instead of filing lawsuits if their claims are denied.
Understanding how workers' compensation law works can be much easier if the most important facts are learned. Knowing what to expect can help employees and employers navigate the challenges of workers' compensation claims better.