Photo by Tyler Karaszewski (Flickr)
One of the first calls a worker makes after being injured on the job is to a workers’ comp attorney, and that is because the worker wants to make sure that their rights are protected and their side of the story is heard. If you have ever dealt with workers’ compensation in your state, then you understand how difficult the process can be. But for many people, workers’ compensation is a necessary way to protect their families if they are ever injured on the job. The idea of workers’ compensation has been around since ancient times, which means that the idea of protecting injured workers is nothing new. But why is workers’ compensation insurance so important, and why do so many people hire workers’ comp lawyers when they are injured? Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that all employers must carry and is regulated differently in each state. In some states, the process for being approved for workers’ compensation is extremely easy. In other states, it takes a good workers’ comp attorney to make sure that every worker gets a fair settlement. The reason that some states are more difficult than others when it comes to workers’ comp is because some states experience a high level of worker fraud that costs employers billions of dollars each year. When there is a high level of fraud in a workers’ comp system, then the state is forced to take the side of the employers in each case. This creates the need for workers’ comp lawyers and creates an unnecessarily difficult process for honest employees with real injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance is important because it provides three important things for employees who are injured. It provides an income to help pay bills, it provides medical coverage to take care of the cost of recovering, and it opens up the door to other programs that can help an injured employee until they can get back to work. In most states, an injured employee must use their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance when they are injured and not their standard health insurance. While this can help to reduce costs for the health insurance providers, it adds another layer of confusion to the entire workers’ compensation system. There are several parts to workers’ compensation insurance, and one part that especially interests employees is something called the “fellow servant” rule. While it is no longer referred to as the “fellow servant” rule by most states, its concept remains the same. This rule implies that if the injury was caused in any way by another worker, then the company does not have to pay workers’ compensation. In these instances, a workers’ comp attorney may get involved and either sue for compensation from the company’s workers’ comp insurance or sue the negligent worker for compensation. Without workers’ compensation insurance, families would be devastated by an injury sustained on the job. Unfortunately, fraud has made it extremely difficult for honest people to get workers’ compensation in some states. But the system does exist as a way to financially protect workers in the event of a work-related accident.