Every employer does his or her best to make the working conditions at his or her place of business as safe as possible for customers and employees. Unfortunately, even with the most meticulous of precautions, injuries will happen. When an employee suffers a work-related injury, that worker may file a workers’ compensation claim. There are some specific costs that workers’ compensation is meant to cover.
First, workers’ compensation benefits are meant to cover the cost associated with the medical attention required to addressed the worker’s injury. These costs can vary wildly. Naturally, the immediate costs such as emergency room bills, ambulance costs, or just the immediate bills associated with receiving medical attention fall under this category. However, additional costs associated with on-going care may also be covered. This could include prescription medication, chiropractic care, or physical therapy. Surgery, specialist treatment, and durable medical equipment all are also meant to be covered by workers’ compensation.
Next, lost wages also may fall under workers’ compensation. An employee may be unable to work after a work-related injury. This inability could be temporary or permanent, and be partial or total. There are specific formulas provided by the law to assist in determining the amount of disability and how much an injured worker may be entitled to receive in the long-term.
In the worst-case scenario, workers’ compensation will also cover funeral costs and death benefits for a worker who passes away as a result of a work-related incident. Death benefits can extend to a deceased worker’s surviving immediate family, and the amount that the family will stand to receive from workers’ compensation is set by statute.
Conversely, there are costs that workers’ compensation and workers’ compensation insurance will not cover. Workers’ compensation insurance will not assist your business with the costs associated with finding, training, and paying a replacement employee. The burden of having to fill the gap left by an injured worker falls on your business. Penalties for OSHA violations, as well as law suits under 132a are also not covered by insurance. Although a laudable goal, workers’ compensation will also not help your business improve safety conditions at your business following the injury.
Understanding what workers’ compensation and insurance are meant to cover will help you make a plan for your business’s future. Contact me today at (714) 516-8188 to talk about your business and let me help you prepare for the future.