What Exactly is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance program that replaces wages and covers medical care for employees who are injured in incidents related to, or who become ill because of exposure caused by, their job responsibilities. Acceptance of this payment results in the affected worker agreeing not to hold the employer legally liable, so compensation for pain and suffering, or punitive damages, are not available.

Such coverage (1) provides weekly payments in place of wages (like disability insurance), (2) includes reimbursement for medical expenses (like health insurance), and (3) provides for survivors of employees who die as a result of the injury or illness (like life insurance).

As a financial payment system for disabled employees, it is exceeded in size only by Social Security disability insurance and Medicare. But it is different than those two programs in several ways:

  • Workers’ compensation begins paying for healthcare immediately after a job-related injury or illness occurs
  • An injured worker may be entitled to temporary total disability compensation after seven days.
  • It provides permanent partial and permanent total disability income when long-term aid is needed
  • It pays rehabilitation and training costs for those who cannot return to their former jobs
  • It pays benefits to survivors of fatally injured workers

To qualify, an employee simply must prove that the accident or illness occurred because of his or her job responsibilities, whether on company property or while performing job-related activities elsewhere.  The first thing required after an injury or illness occur, is to give a written report to your supervisor, as soon as is medically possible.

All states have a specific timeframe in which to do this and it is usually short and is strictly enforced. Be sure to tell the attending healthcare professionals that your injury or illness is job-related so they can provide the appropriate paperwork for you.

We Can Assist You

At Merritt Webb, our team of attorneys is especially skilled at handling workers’ compensation cases. If you have been injured while doing your job, or have contracted a work-related illness, we will represent you skillfully and handle your case with diligence and full knowledge of the legal process.

We have been helping people just like you for more than 25 years. Just contact us at 1-888-802-3423 to schedule a complimentary consultation at one of our offices in North Carolina. We will answer your questions and advise you about the best next steps to take.

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