An overview of worker’s compensation
March 31, 2015
Every employee is protected by a set of rules that safeguards his or her physical and emotional well-being. This includes finding proper compensation when injured during the course of his or her work. Most commonly known as worker’s compensation, this program enacted by the government is a basic right that all employees – particularly those engaged in risky and highly dangerous jobs – have. It states the companies are legally responsible for the welfare of their employees and should something happen to them during the course of their work, employers are required by law to compensate workers properly. This usually is in the form of monetary or medical compensation. The law also has provisions to protect the welfare of the individual’s dependents, should the employee die due to his work.
It must be noted that each state has their provisions, with federal statutes being limited to federal employees. However, there are still basic guidelines that are followed. The main consideration in a worker’s compensation claim is that the injury (or death) must have been directly caused by the occupation, with the full knowledge of the danger known to the employer. For example, a railroad employee suffers an injury caused by a faulty track, he or she is eligible under the Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA) to file a complaint against his or her employee. It must be proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that the employer was either negligent or intentionally involved in the accident.
Establishing legal responsibility is only the first step in a worker’s compensation claim. The attorney, victim, and company, now have to determine the type of compensation the employee will receive. This refers not only to the amount, but how long the payments will be made.