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The basics of workers' compensation

Although a majority of employers take all the necessary precautions to assure the protection and safety of their employees, many occupations have inherent dangers and unforeseen accidents can occur to anyone at any time. Some occupations, such as construction workers, railroad workers and those in industrial fields know each day that something could happen and they could be injured at work,

Because not all accidents can be prevented, employers are required by state law to insure their workers for illnesses and injuries that occur as a result of employment. Federal employees have their own protections, but for those involved in non-federal employment, you can see what workers' compensation benefits you may be entitled to by looking at your state's Workers' Compensation page or the United States Department of Labor's website for more information.

It is important to note that workers' compensation insurance is designed to handle all forms of illnesses and injuries that occur while at work, regardless of fault. There are a few exceptions however, such as an employee who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury, if the injury was self-inflicted or if the injury or illness occurred while the employee was engaged in illegal activity or in violation of company policy.

Workers' compensation benefits will cover not only the necessary medical care and rehabilitation costs associated with the injury or illness, but lost income, the cost of retraining, compensation for employees who were permanently injured and even compensation for family members of a worker who was killed on the job.

Source: findlaw.com, "Workers' Comp Benefits Explained," Accessed Feb. 13, 2017

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