Workers’ Compensation is a form of on-the-job insurance that provides medical compensation for employees injured in the workplace. So, for example, if you’re a dockworker and are injured when the crane on drops an object on you, and your place of employment provides workers’ compensation, you will have your medical care provided for. However, the downside to workers’ compensation is that to receive it, you must waive the right to sue your employer for negligence, except in certain extreme cases. Obviously, there is a distinct trade-off: on the one hand, you are assured basic medical coverage should the need arise. On the other hand, you have lost your ability to sue for a larger payout. This trade-off is known as the “compensation bargain.”
Workers’ Comp in the United States
Originally enacted around the turn of the century as a means to reduce litigation, workers’ compensation has since become a major pillar in workers’ rights in the United States. The right to medical care as a result of injuries incurred on the job is considered an absolute right of the employee. As such, employers must take out insurance policies specifically to cover such injuries, and can face fines if they do not.
In Texas, workers’ compensation will pay for your medical treatment if:
- Your injury or illness occurred as a result of your job, and
- Your employer has workers’ compensation
Additionally, workers’ compensation will replace part of your lost wages if you lose more than seven days due to your medical problems.
Workers’ compensation payments can provide for all necessary medical expenses, from medication to hospital stays to special caretakers.
If you have been injured in the workplace and your employer is refusing to provide workers’ compensation payments, contact the Austin employment lawyers of The Melton Law Firm, by calling 512-330-0017.