Workers’ comp 101

What is workers’ comp insurance?
In the event an on-the-job injury occurs, worker’s comp insurance is designed to protect both the employee and employer. In most cases if an employee has a work-related injury or illness, the employer’s insurance company will pay the injured worker’s medical expenses and a portion of the lost wages (if applicable). In exchange, the injured worker generally will not be able to bring a civil claim against the insured employer for bodily injury damages arising from the work injury, absent intentional conduct on behalf of the employer.

Why do I need workers’ compensation insurance?
Most employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance under state laws. Employers who are required to carry workers’ comp coverage but do not do so can be sued in a civil court or in the workers’ comp system, if one of their employees is injured on the job. In conjunction with stop-work orders and fines, an injunction and assessment can be filed against the employer. Employers who ignore the law and continue to do business without insurance may also put their business and personal assets at risk.

workcom_imgHow can I get workers’ compensation insurance?
BusinessFirst workers’ comp policies are sold through appointed independent insurance agents.

What types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance?
Under normal circumstances, if your employee is injured or becomes ill as a direct result of their job, medical treatment of that illness or injury is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Generally, it is fairly easy to determine if the injury is work-related, however sometimes it is more obscured.

Take for instance, an employee who has a preexisting back problem may injure their back at work, but the new work injury may be related to the original back problem, not the job itself. Generally, a qualified physician is required to determine how much the job contributed to the injury.

Additionally, there are rules related to injuries that happen as the result of someone violating company safety protocols, horsing around on the job or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury. Each case must be reviewed by a claims adjustor to carefully determine what expenses will be paid according to state law.

Workers’ compensation laws vary by state. Please click on the link below to access the workers’ compensation website for your state.





North Carolina