Workers’ compensation is a program that was initially established to balance employees’ and employers’ rights and provide a means for them to quickly settle their differences. The system evolved during the 20th century because of the industrial revolution. With the use of more sophisticated machinery, the number of workplace hazards increased significantly.
As a result, Congress passed the Workers’ Compensation Act in 1908. Each state has its laws on workers’ compensation insurance. Here are some frequently asked questions about workers’ comp insurance.
Which Employees Are Covered?
Each state has its regulations on when an employer must acquire worker’s compensation. In some states, an employer must have a minimum number of employees required to have workers’ comp insurance. In other states, workers’ comp should be bought by any employer regardless of the number of employees they have.
In some states, specific industries are excluded from coverage. For example, some states exclude domestic workers, agricultural workers, and seasonal workers. If employees from these sectors are injured, they can only claim based on the tort theory of liability.
Some states also exclude independent contractors. It’s essential to research which employees are covered under workers’ comp insurance laws in your state.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered?
The primary work-related injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation insurance include:
- Any physical injury an employee sustains while on the job. This can include exposure to toxins, repetitive motion injury, and hearing loss occurring at the workplace
- An employee may also be covered if workplace conditions aggravate their preexisting conditions. For example, back injury, even if you notice it later while working
- At-work injuries caused by company furniture and equipment
- Injuries occurring during lunch hours, breaks, and work-sponsored events like a company function
- Injuries that cause physical and mental strain because of work-related stress and overworking.
What Types of Injuries Are Not Covered?
Some injuries that an employee will not be compensated for under workers’ comp include:
- Injuries that aren’t suffered in the course of work-related duties
- Injuries suffered while an employee was executing a crime
- Injuries suffered while an employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Injuries suffered when an employee violated the company’s policy.
What Are Employers’ Responsibilities Under Workers’ Compensation?
Apart from having insurance to cater for work-related injuries, employers have other obligations under many state workers’ compensation laws. Employers are required to post notices in convenient places frequented by employees while they’re working. The notices must include the following:
- Information regarding employees’ right, including the right to be treated after an accident
- Details about the benefits of workers’ compensation insurance
- The name of the insurance company providing workers’ compensation.
The employer should also issue claim forms to injured employees. Employers are required to issue these forms within 24 hours after an employee has notified them of a work-related injury. Even though an employee hasn’t issued this notice, the employer is still obligated to provide these claim forms if they were aware of the injury.
Employers are also required to supply an employee with written information regarding their rights and how to file a claim after an injury.
As an employer, it’s essential to have workers’ comp insurance to protect yourself from employee claims. Otherwise, you would have to pay for medical costs and other expenses out of your pocket. You need to be insured by a company that has a good reputation and years of experience.
Kenneth Rhodes & Associates Inc has distinguished itself as one of the best insurance companies in South Carolina and Georgia. We can help you get the coverage you need for employee-related injury claims. Contact our team for more information and receive a quote.