What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?
Workers' compensation insurance is a type of insurance that your employer purchases in order to pay for your medical bills and lost wages in the event that you are injured while on the job. This insurance plan covers your medical bills, and will pay you 70% of you average weekly wage if you are unable to work.
If your employer carries workers' compensation insurance they are providing you with adequate financial assistance for your injuries, HOWEVER they are also limiting their liability. By carrying the state run workers' comp plan, your employer gets nearly complete immunity from a lawsuit in exchange for providing you with workers compensation benefits. Simply put, you cannot sue your employer IF they carry workers compensation insurance. You are only afforded the benefits under the workers compensation system which are medical benefits and a limited portion of your lost wages. In addition, there is no lump sum settlement under workers compensation. If you are permanently disabled, the workers compensation insurance carrier may pay you a small payout once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This payout is based on the impairment rating that you are assigned. The impairment rating is based on a formula of three (3) week's pay for every 1% of permanent impairment, as determined by the workers' compensation doctor.
Through the workers’ compensation system, an injured employee is entitled to limited wage replacement, usually 70% your average weekly wage and medical care for the injury, regardless of whose fault it was that caused your injury. Much of the time, the workers compensation carrier will fight your claim, benefits and medical care taking advantage of you. Never forget that you are dealing with an insurance company that is a for-profit company and watching its bottom line. They do not have your best interest in mind.
Breakdown of Employee Benefits in a Workers Compensation Case
Fault Vs No Fault
Workers Compensation is a no fault system. Even if you cause your own injury, as long as you are in the course and scope of your employment, you are covered.
Medical Bills and Expenses
The carrier theoretically pays for medical treatment regardless of who's at fault.
You will receive 70% of your average weekly wage each week while you are unable to work. However there is a cap of approximately $970 per week These benefits do not go into effect until you have missed 7 days of work.
Diminished Earning Capacity
No compensation for diminished earning capacity.
Loss of Future Income
In the case of catastrophic injury, you may receive partial long-term wage benefits. This is considered lifetime income benefits (LIBS).
Pain & Suffering
Is not recoverable under workers' compensation.
Only applicable in a fatality case.
Settlement or Resolution
There is no settlement under workers compensation. However, if you are permanently disabled, the workers compensation insurance carrier may pay you a small payout once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This payout is based on the impairment rating that you are assigned. The impairment rating is based on a formula of three (3) week's pay for every 1% of permanent impairment, as determined by the workers' compensation doctor.