Many employers in the United States are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. This is a type of insurance available to employees that provides benefits to employees that suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. However, you may want to know more about what workers’ compensation covers.

As long as an injury or illness is job-related, it will be covered under this insurance. Covered injuries range anywhere from sudden accidents to injuries that happen over time. When it comes to what compensation doesn’t cover, you will see things like injuries caused by intoxication, self-infliction, and injuries from an employee fight, felony-related injuries, injuries suffered off the job, and more.

The biggest thing about workers’ compensation is that employers will gain protection from lawsuits by injuries employees when an employee takes the option of receiving benefits. However, an employer should note that they are not protected from each and every lawsuit that is related to injuries. The exceptions are limited but include an employee becoming injured due to extremely reckless conditions or when a defective piece of equipment is being used, an employer knew it, and didn’t do anything about it. In this case, an employee may be able to sue for punitive damages, which are meant to punish the employer and pain and suffering.

What Responsibilities Does an Employer Have Regarding Workers’ Compensation?

  • Employers Must Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Employees can file a lawsuit if a business lacks workers’ compensation coverage even though it was a requirement. California has its own Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund to take care of some of these matters.
  • Employers Must Post Notices and Legal Rights: These notices must be posted in a convenient location for all to view. Information regarding rights should be shared, including the name of the company’s workers’ compensation carrier, a statement that injured workers have the right to receive medical treatment, and give details about available workers’ compensation benefits. New hires should always be told about these postings.
  • Employers Must Provide Claim Forms to Injured Employees: A claim form should be provided within 24 hours of receiving notice of the injury. Employee’s rights under workers’ compensation should also be shared. Benefit information will be given to an employee so they know exactly what steps to take (DelPo).

So what happens if you work somewhere like a small restaurant and you slip and break your arm? You’re told that you need surgery except for the fact that, when you report your injury, you are told that the restaurant does not carry this type of insurance. In California like most states, employers of a certain size are always required to carry workers’ compensation. Many states will allow employees to sue their employers in court when they do not carry. You may be able to seek the full amount of your losses instead of a cap being set by law. However, you may find that you need to go through a much slower process when receiving your benefits (Barreiro).

How can I find out who provides workers’ compensation coverage for my employer or another business in California?

Employers have a lot to think about in California – it is a necessity to either purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy, or become self-insured. The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) does not maintain information about employers and their respective insurers. However, you can visit the California Workers’ Compensation Coverage website at www.caworkcompcoverage.com. (SoC).

Have you been injured in the workplace and wonder what your next steps should be? Your employer may carry Workers’ Compensation benefits, which will work in your favor and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Workers’ comp laws can be extremely complex and so it is in your best interest to have an attorney on your side through the process. Call The RAWA Law Group for more information.

Works Cited:

Amy DelPo. Nolo, 2015. Web. Accessed Dec 27, 2015. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/workers-compensation-basics-employers-30333.html

Sachi Barreiro. Nolo, 2015. Web. Accessed Dec 27, 2015. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-should-i-employer-doesn-t-workers-compensation-insurance.html

SoC. State of California: Department of Industrial Relations, 2015. Web. Accessed Dec 27, 2015. http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/wcfaqiw.html

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