refers to a system of laws outlining specific benefits to which injured
employees are entitled, and the procedures for obtaining such benefits.
Every state has its own workers' compensation laws, which are contained
in its statutes, and vary somewhat from state to state. In addition,
there are special workers' compensation laws for employees of the federal
government, and still others for workers in specific types of industries
such as railroad employees.
Under the law in most states, every
business must have some form of workers' compensation insurance to cover
injured employees. Filing a workers' compensation claim is similar to
filing an insurance claim; it isn't a lawsuit against an employer, but
rather a request for benefits.
Workers' compensation laws are designed
to ensure that employees who are injured on the job receive fixed monetary
rewards, without having to litigate their claims against their employers.
In this way, workers' compensation is an important safety net for employees
when they are injured on the job as a result of their job.
Most workers' compensation laws also
provide employers and co-workers with a certain level of protection,
by limiting the amount employees can recover from their employers, and
prohibiting, in most cases, injured employees from suing their co-workers.
In essence, workers' compensation is a no-fault system, where an injured
worker's own negligence, or the negligence of his or her employer or
co-workers, is not put at issue;rather, the injured employee is simply
covered for his or her work related injuries.
Thus, workers' compensation is an injured worker's "exclusive
remedy" with respect to a work-related injury, unless he or she
can point to a third party who contributed to his or her injuries. For
example, because workers are often injured by products or machinery
they use at work, they may, and often do, seek compensation from the
manufacturers of such products.
If you are injured while
driving a vehicle on your job, you may have a personal injury case as
well as a workers' compensation claim. Only an experienced attorney
can advise you correctly.