Every state has a workers’ compensation statute that requires employers to insure their employees for wage loss and medical benefits when an employee is injured or suffers an occupational disease. That injury or disease must occur or arise in the course of a worker’s employment by an anticipated and foreseeable risk of that employment. The general rule is that an employee who suffered such an injury or disease can obtain workers’ compensation benefits notwithstanding who was at fault. Even if the employee was negligent and caused his or her own injuries, it’s highly likely that benefits are payable. In return for these benefits, employees ordinarily don’t have the right to sue their employer in a civil court of law for damages.
Workers’ compensation is also known as workers’ comp. It can pay a variety of benefits based on the nature and extent of an employee’s injuries. For most injured employees, the benefits that it pays are:
An injury need not be a sudden and traumatic event to be covered under workers’ compensation. Some conditions that develop over time such as repetitive motion injuries might be covered. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive motion disorder that’s typically covered under workers’ compensation. Some individuals with lung or hearing disorders might also be compensated for an occupational disease.