What Is Workers' Compensation Insurance?
Workers' compensation insurance provides coverage for medical benefits and wage replacement when an employee is injured or killed on the job. When an injured employee accepts workers' compensation payments, he or she legally gives up the right to sue the employer later for damages or negligence. This is commonly known as the compensation bargain, and it is meant to provide a compromise between the two sides. One of the problems solved by this bargain is employer insolvency. If employers did not have workers' compensation insurance, they could lose their entire company to pay for damages awarded to an injured worker by the court. For this collective liability system to work, individual immunity is a necessity. It ensures the adequate compensation of injured parties.
Compensation plans may vary from one jurisdiction to another based on several factors. However, payments to injured claimants may be made on a weekly basis. In this instance, workers' compensation is similar to disability insurance. It provides compensation to replace lost wages at the same rate or almost the same rate. Also, claimants receive compensation for their medical expenses. This insurance works similar to traditional health insurance when covering medical costs. If a worker is killed on the job due to unsafe conditions or negligence of the employer, the dependents of the deceased worker may collect benefits. When this happens, the insurance is structured similar to life insurance. It pays for funeral costs and other final expenses.
It is important to note that workers' compensation insurance is not similar to a judgment from a lawsuit. If an injured worker or the survivor of an individual who was killed on the job filed a lawsuit, other damages may be awarded. For example, compensation may be made for pain, suffering and punitive damages. With workers' compensation insurance, these extra damages are not recognized. The coverage only pays for expenses directly related to the incident. Today, injuries may be verified by more than one medical professional. This is because workers' compensation fraud has been on the rise in recent years. Dishonest doctors and other professionals have worked with people to fake injuries and create false documentation. The cost of fraud is then distributed to everyone who pays for workers' compensation insurance. An agent can help by giving tips to prevent workers' compensation fraud and tips for identifying it. To learn more about workers' compensation coverage, discuss with an agent.