Workers compensation is a form of insurance for employees provided for them by their employers as mandated by the law. This is in case employees get injured and/or develop an illness from their job. Worker’s compensation is a good thing for employees in many ways but it can be argued that it is not exactly the best deal. Here are some of the pros and cons of workers compensation:
- It covers a lot of things; it’s like an all-in-one insurance. For example, worker’s compensation covers your medical bills like a health insurance would. Lost wages due to the injury or illness are also covered like in disability insurance, and in the event that the employee dies because of the injury, the remaining family or beneficiaries are given the benefits as in life insurance.
- The employee does not have to contribute for the payment of the workers compensation insurance. It the sole responsibility of the employer to provide this to his employees.
- To claim a worker’s compensation, one does not have to prove the fault of one party. As long as the injury occurred during working hours or in the course of the employee performing the job, the employee may file for a claim. An employer may deny the compensation only if they can prove that the employee willfully injured himself, the employee was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs during the incident, and/or the injury is not job related at all.
- If the injury incurred has lifetime effect that prevents you from earning the same amount as you once had, then you are entitled to a benefit that would fill 2/3 the amount of the discrepancy.
- The monetary benefits are exempt from taxation.
One should remember though that different each state has different laws governing what should be covered by the workers compensation. Read on here on how workers’ compensation law works in California. So some details might differ. An employer is also prohibited from discriminating you once you file for workers compensation claim.
Now for the Cons:
- You are prohibited from suing your employer once you have filed a claim for workers compensation. Of course, you can still sue your employer but you would have to waive the workers compensation. You cannot have it both ways. And of course, battling it out in court does not assure you of the benefits you get from the workers compensation.
- Workers compensation does not include pain and suffering in its benefits.
- Once you have claimed workers compensation for your injury, your employer is exempt from any negligence claims. Whether or not the injury is a direct result of an employer’s negligence (as defined by the law), it will not be an issue anymore and the employer is not obligated to pay you for punitive damages.
- There is a set limitation (amount is depends on which state you live) of monetary compensation that is allowed to be given to you.
If you are unsure of whether you should sue or claim workers compensation, you can always consult with a lawyer first and have your situation evaluated. You can decide then. The important thing to that you make an informed decision.