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Importance of workers’ comp

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Workers’ comp can basically be defined as an insurance policy that provides compensation in terms of wage replacement and medical fees for employees who incur injuries at the workplace in exchange for forfeiture of suing the employer for negligence. This form of insurance is also known as workers’ compensation or simply as compo in countries like Australia. In such an agreement, the employee relinquishes his or her right to sue the employer for any injury incurred at the workplace.

Workers’ comp is derived from the fact that accidents can occur in any workplace despite our concerted efforts to ensure that they do not happen. The insurance protects workers from financial hardships related to occupational injuries and diseases. However, for an injured worker to receive benefits of workers’ compensation, it must be proven that the injury or disease occurred incurred in the course of employment.

Laws governing workers’ comp differ from one state to another. The underlying similarity however is that these laws that handle claims from injured employees are strict liability laws in every state. This means that issues related to negligence or fault by the employer are not considered in the employee’s pursuit for benefits. Neither does the employee reserve the right to sue for punitive damages, comparative negligence or assumption of risk.

Many states have made it mandatory for every employer to provide workers’ comp for his or her employees with exceptions given to small office owners, those with domestic and farm workers, and for independent contractors. It is also illegal for an employer to terminate employment of a worker who files a workers’ comp claim after an injury or disease in most states. Workers comp provides an effective way of ensuring that an employee is adequately compensated for financially especially when he or she cannot continue working after incurring an injury or occupational disease while in the workplace.

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