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Understanding workers' compensation basics

Workers' compensation benefits can be helpful to workers and their families who find themselves in challenging situations following a workplace accident, injury or death. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that can pay out benefits to injured workers and family members of workers killed in fatal workplace accidents.

Workers' compensation is typically considered a no-fault system that protects workers in the workplace and their families if they have been harmed. Because it is largely a no-fault system, workers' compensation benefits provide protections if either the employee was negligent or the employer was negligent. Workers' compensation benefits, depending on the circumstances, can include benefits for medical expenses for treatment and care of the injury or illness; replacement income; vocational rehabilitation training; compensation for disability; and death benefits to surviving family members following a work-related death.

Because workers' compensation benefits can vary by state, it is important to be familiar with the benefits in the injured worker's state and understand the process in their state. In general, workers' compensation benefits apply to independent contractors, business owners, employees in private homes, farmers and farmhands, maritime employees, railroad employees and some other categories of workers as well. There are both federal and state workers' compensation programs.

Workers' compensation benefits can be vital for workers injured at work and surviving family members of workers killed. While valuable, the workers' compensation process can also be complicated at times, so workers and their families should know as much about it as possible to get the help they need.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation Benefits Explained," Accessed April 16, 2018

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