premises liability or product liability for example) that is being handled by either the same or a different lawyer, and there are serious injuries associated with it, we can usually fund against that case.
Millions of Americans are injured on the job each year. When it happens, most rely on benefits from their state’s worker comp Insurance while they are recovering from their injuries.
One of the chief complaints about state workers compensation board proceedings around the country is that people who are waiting on settlements say they can be notoriously slow and very frustrating.
“Workers compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence. The tradeoff between assured, limited coverage and lack of recourse outside the worker compensation system is known as ‘the compensation bargain.’
“While plans differ among jurisdictions, provision can be made for weekly payments in place of wages (functioning in this case as a form of disability insurance), compensation for economic loss (past and future), reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses (functioning in this case as a form of health insurance), and benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment (functioning in this case as a form of life insurance).
“General damage for pain and suffering, and punitive damages for employer negligence, are generally not available in workers compensation plans, and negligence is generally not an in issue in the case. These laws were first enacted in Europe and Oceania, with the United States following shortly thereafter.” ~ Wikipedia
Employees are eligible to receive workers compensation regardless if the employer was at fault, or whether the employee’s negligence contributed to the worker’s injury.
It is only in specific cases – if the employee can prove that the employer had intentionally caused injury to the worker – where an employee can bring a civil action against their employer in court for pain and suffering or other damages.
As such, employers are the ones who pay for this very insurance, and cannot require employees to contribute to the expenses of compensation. When employees get injured while on the job and claim for worker’s compensation, the employer’s insurance carrier will pay the cash benefits as well as the medical care, as dictated by the workers compensation board.
The workers compensation board (name may vary per state) is an agency mandated for each state, with its own laws and statutes. Each board is in charge of regulating and processing the claims for every eligible worker. In cases where intervention by the workers compensation board is needed, the agency will be the one to decide on whether or not the insurer will reimburse cash benefits, medical care, and amounts payable.
Majority of employees working in the United States are entitled to receive medical care for any injury they have obtained from their job. Moreover, they also have rights to compensation for either temporary or permanent disabilities.
Many states require employers to obtain insurance for workers compensation. Furthermore, it is also illegal in most states for an employee to terminate, discipline or refuse to hire an employee for reporting a workplace-related injury or claiming for workers compensation.
Workers compensation laws are intended to ensure employees that they can receive fixed monetary awards when they are injured on the job, without having to go through an actual litigation against their employer.
Majority of workers compensation laws also provide employers and co-workers with an extent of protection through the limitation of the amount that employees can actually claim. In most cases, it also prohibits injured employees from suing their employers or co-workers.
Workers compensation is an “exclusive remedy” for an employee with a work-related injury, unless the worker can put liability on a third party that contributed to the injury. An example of such a case would be seeking compensation from manufacturers of products, equipment or machinery that workers use for their job.
On a general basis, employers are not included in third-party claims made by employees. Lawsuits of this nature take place in civil actions instead of the workers compensation system. However, employees can regain its compensation payments and obligations if an injured worker is able to obtain recovery from a lawsuit against a third party.
The State Compensation Insurance Fund, or State Fund, is described as:
“[…] A workers compensation insurer that was created as a ‘public enterprise fund’ by the U.S. state of California, and today has partial autonomy from the rest of the state government. It is required by state law to maintain its headquarters in San Francisco, but has regional offices all over the state.”
California is just one of many other states that carry a competitive state fund in the workers compensation insurance market. Other workers compensation state funds include:
Workers comp does not typically apply to maritime employees or railroad workers.
Instead, FELA applies to railroad workers and The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act, “is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine”.
What’s important about this law is that it also stipulates that employers must provide compensation for employees who suffer from injury or death related to the nature of their job on the seas. The provision found at 46 U.S.C. § 30104 states:
“Any sailor who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply…”
Furthermore, any legal action an employee would make under the Jones Act can be brought to either a federal or state court. The right to bring such action to a state court is preserved by the “savings to suitors” clause in 28 U.S.C. § 1333.
If a victim can prove that the injury was caused due to the employer’s or co-worker’s negligence, the employee can receive compensation for past and future economic and non-economic losses.
For Jones Act injuries, click here.
For FELA railroad injuries, click here.
For work-related injuries, employees may be eligible for compensation for any of the following injuries sustained:
However, there are also some injuries that cannot be covered by the workers compensation law. Some state courts do no allow employees to receive compensation if an injury was sustained from horseplay at a workplace.
Furthermore, several states will not hand out benefits to employees who are injured while intoxicated, or who intentionally inflicts injury on oneself. Employees who sustain injuries while outside the work premises for personal errands are not entitled to workers compensation either.
Every state has its own board or agency that is responsible for enforcing it’s workers compensation laws. As a convenience, we have listed them all below. If you need to contact your state’s workers comp board, please click a link and you will be redirected to your state’s website:
You can complete an application online or just call us toll-free at 1-(877) 932-2628 and one of our litigation funding specialists will take your information right over the phone.
So why wait?