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Topics: Workers' compensation, Employment, Law Pages: 189 (39488 words) Published: December 28, 2012
How Does Workman Compensation Work?
By Tom Streissguth, eHow Contributor
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Workers' compensation insurance developed in the late 19th century as an important benefit for employees who were not protected from illness or injuries suffered on the job. Before workers' comp laws were passed, injured workers often had few resources with which to treat their injuries and no means of physical rehabilitation and returning to the work force. Workers' comp also protects employers from civil liability for workplace accidents. Other People Are Reading

* How Does Workers' Compensation Work?
* How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim
1. Insurance
* State laws govern the workers' compensation insurance industry. The law requires most employers to carry workers' comp insurance for each of their employees. Workers' comp may be provided by private insurance companies or through a state workers' compensation pool to which all employers must contribute. Insurance rates rise and fall with the expense of claims and administration, and tend to be higher for industries that involve more physical risk, such as construction and factory work. Reporting

* When a worker suffers an injury requiring medical treatment, the employer is required to report the accident to the workers' comp carrier. If the accident occurred in the course and scope of the worker's employment, and during time for which the worker earned wages, the workers' comp insurance covers the cost of emergency treatment, necessary surgery, medications, office visits and rehabilitation. The worker can also draw temporary disability benefits for time lost from work, as well as permanent disability if he is unable to return to work at all. * Sponsored Links

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* The insurance company is required to pay for all work-related injuries, but the system does not always function as it should. Insurance companies can and do deny claims for a wide variety of reasons. Workers who are injured can bring a petition or complaint against the workers' comp carrier for the payment of benefits and medical costs. These cases are pursued in workers' compensation courts or adjudicated by the state's workers' comp administrators. Settlement

* Insurance companies will offer to settle workers' comp cases to avoid continuing medical and rehab costs. If the worker accepts a settlement offer, then the carrier pays a lump sum in return for a release of all claims related to the injury, and in most cases for a voluntary resignation by the worker. Settlement is not mandatory, and workers' comp claims can remain open indefinitely as the worker continues to get treatment and medication for the injury. Liability

* In exchange for covering workers, employers are protected from lawsuits when accidents occur. The law provides that neither employee nor employer is deemed to be at fault unless gross negligence on the part of the employee allows the carrier to deny the claim. Although civil remedies are barred for workplace injuries, workers can sue workers' comp insurance companies in civil court for not providing legally required benefits. Sponsored Links

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