According to a report released by the AFL-CIO, more than 100 people in the United States die every day as a direct consequence of their work. In the year 2011 alone, 4693 Americans were killed and the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the figures at a staggering 50000 workers per year.
This means that for those who fear the worst, it will serve them better to realize that Americans are actually 271 times more likely to die from a work-related accident than from a terrorist attack. Where does that leave us? Taking the US as a model, it should therefore go without saying that worker’s compensation is all we need to safeguard our futures at our various workplaces.
But What Is It?
Workers’ compensation is simply a form of insurance that provides wage replacement as well as medical benefits to an employee that gets injured in the course of employment. This is often done in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue the employer for negligence.
This insurance is seen as a solution to the traditional problem of employers going solvent due to the high damage awards. In order to ensure this, the policy evokes one of its core principles, the principal of collective liability.
Every employee should learn about the importance of this insurance as it has greatly helped overcome the physical and emotional trauma occasioned by work-related injuries.
What Does It Cover
Worker’s compensation may differ among different jurisdictions but in most cases, there is often provision for a weekly payment plan which could also be looked at as a form of disability insurance.
The policy also covers the assured’s past and future economic loss, payment of medical and associated expenses as well as certain benefits payable to the worker’s dependents in the event the worker dies during employment. This may also be referred to as a form of life insurance.
What to Remember Before Signing Up For The Scheme
As an employee of a given organization or company, it is important to remember certain crucial points about worker’s compensation so you may know who holds the greatest liability and by how much. Generally, this scheme is controlled by common law practices. Hubert with Hinden Law adds to this message, “These practices envisage that your employer will among other things; provide a safe work place as well as tools, issue adequate and timely warnings of danger, provide adequate co-worker assistance to ease the burden of overworking and generally promulgate and reinforce laws.” Consult with a lawyer first to avoid any issues.
Therefore, if you wish to make a claim under the common law, you should realize that the claims are limited by three defenses afforded to employers namely;
-The Fellow Servant Doctrine which states that the employer will be held harmless to the extent that an injury results from a peer of the injured worker,
-The Contributory Negligence which states that the employer will be held harmless to the extent that the injured ignored basic safety precautions and
-The Assumption of Risk which states that the employer will be held harmless to the extent that the injured had accepted all the risks associated with his work.
Is It For You?
Worker’s compensation is ideal for anyone employed as the possibility of work-related injuries is real. There is really no point trying to work through a serious injury when you could easily file Worker’s compensation and get back on your feet without jeopardizing your position at work.