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If you were injured at work and your employer provides you with workers’ compensation, you can’t sue the company in most circumstances. However, you should consult with an attorney to answer specific questions about your case since each case is different.

The Origin of Workers’ Compensation

It’s also important to understand the history of workers’ compensation so you’ll know how to navigate your case. In the U.S., these laws were put in place to protect both workers and companies.

Until workers’ compensation gave employees the right to be repaid for any medical costs they incurred to a work-related injury and to be reimbursed for any lost wages, workers could sue their companies to recover funds. However, employees also had to wait for years to settle their cases or take their cases to court. 

Employees were also unable to work while sorting through the details of a legal case to sue the companies they worked for. This meant workers were trying to form a case without any income, but they were still required to pay their medical bills.

Mandatory Workers’ Compensation

Most employees are provided with mandatory worker’s compensation. When the worker accepts this policy, the employee can not sue their company for negligence. This arrangement, which is a tradeoff between guaranteed coverage for the employee if they give up the right to sue, is called the “compensation bargain.”

Once the bargain is in place, companies don’t have to worry that large sums of money will be coming out of the company budget to pay injured workers. Paying out large settlements to employees has long hurt the company’s financial resources, which are necessary to run the business. Some companies even have to file for bankruptcy once a worker is injured, and the company has to pay a liability settlement.

Compensation bargains offer a collective liability system that helps protect everyone involved in a workers’ compensation case. This system is “no-fault” since it classifies job site injuries as unavoidable factors in a working relationship. When the compensation bargain is in place, workers don’t have to prove their company or employer’s contractor caused the injury.

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How Workers’ Compensation Insurance Works

Companies may look into their workers’ compensation insurance policy regularly to protect themselves from employee lawsuits. The money in the policy is used to pay workers who are hurt while on the job. The monetary amount an employee receives depends on the nature of the injury.

Usually, a worker doesn’t get money from a workers’ compensation insurance policy for pain and suffering. A lawyer can help workers determine if they are owned a monetary amount for pain and suffering and how much this amount should be. However, the policy does entitle employees to compensation for lost wages and medical bills, even if the employee’s company can’t afford to pay the required settlement amount. 

Workers’ compensation insurance ensures that a worker’s medical bills are covered. This is why employees who are injured should request compensation in the form of a worker’s compensation claim instead of filing a lawsuit.

While you can’t sue if you accept workers’ comp, you can get the legal advice you need to settle the matter. Worker’s compensation laws prevent negotiating a settlement from the company itself, but a lawyer can still argue third parties’ guilt. This is why it’s important to get a lawyer on your side as soon as possible. 

If you’re injured at work, talk to an attorney about the details of the incident. Provide as much evidence as you can about your injury case. This will help your lawyer determine if a third party is liable and could result in a bigger settlement for you.

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