Workers’ compensation is an insurance process that allows for an employee who has sustained an injury due to their employment; the nature of workers’ compensation varies from state to state and country to country. In the United States, the Department of Labor (DOL) formulated a protocol that regulates, gauges, and oversees the process of awarding workers’ compensation. However, this protocol is enforced and substantiated by each state’s individual department of labor.
Origin of Workers’ Compensation
As per the development of labor laws within the United States, employees were able to enjoy added protection, coverage, and job security in the scope of their respective employment. In the early 20th century, injuries sustained by workers were once considered to be collateral damage with regard to their respective work; the Department of Labor explains that the rights afforded to workers are formulated from ethical, moral, and just legislation.
Workers’ Compensation Tort Law
Subsequent to an injury sustained by an employee in the workplace, workers’ compensation is the protocol taken by the employer to make restitution for damage resulting from the accident or event. Workers’ compensation is a legal methodology deeply-rooted in insurance law, tort law, and employment law.
The acceptance of a workers’ compensation settlement on the part of the employee removes the right of that employee to sue an employer
Matters that involve process, protocol, and regulations involving matters that exist in the workplace
The acceptance of a workers’ compensation settlement acknowledges that the employer wishes to recompense the employee for the consequences resulting from the accident or event:
- Pain and suffering endured by the employee as a result of any damage or injury
- Economic hardship suffered by the employee in question due to an inability to maintain gainful employment
- Monies allotted towards medical treatment, which includes surgery, therapy (physical and psychological), operations, treatment, and medication
- Physical and/or emotional trauma resulting from an accident or event that took place
- Injuries – both long and short-term – depending on the severity of the injury; in certain cases, a severe injury can result in permanent unemployment – workers’ compensation must address both long-term and short-term consequences of a workplace injury
- Punitive damages that are sustained by the employee, which can include subsequent – albeit indirect – outcomes of the accident
Collecting Workers’ Compensation
Employees operating within a legal, safe, and approved fashion are entitled to receive workers’ compensation in the event of injury or damage sustained as a result of their employment. Individuals interested in exploring the collection of workers’ compensation are encouraged to consult an attorney specializing in employment law, personal injury, accidents, and/or insurance. Individuals are encouraged to obtain the following documentation in order to best illustrate the details of their case:
- An accident report that has been approved and/or sanctioned by their place of employment
- A copy of their employment contract
- Witness testimony documenting the accident or event
- Certifications and regulations confirming safe, lawful, and ethical employment
- Medical reports detailing an examination (if applicable)