As an employee, your employer is supposed to provide and protect certain rights and privileges, especially when it comes to your safety. However, there are times when injuries occur on a job site regardless of the instituted protections. Therefore, while it is only fair that you should receive some damages for your injuries, it is also reasonable that an employer who operates within the law is protected against frivolous and damaging lawsuits. Therefore, to offer protection to both employees and employers, workers’ compensation insurance was created.
Workers’ compensation is insurance coverage that an employer purchases to help them take care of employees who might be injured on the job. This type of business coverage kicks in after an injury and will help an injured employee cover their medical expenses in real-time and can even offset lost income. However, the primary purpose of workers’ compensation is to limit corporate liability and protect a business against legal actions. For example, by providing adequate but limited benefits, an employer demonstrates a willingness to compensate an employee for losses. However, by opting into government-run compensation programs, a company is almost entirely immune to lawsuits.
If your employer is a non-subscriber, then that means they did not purchase workers’ compensation insurance. By not subscribing, your employer is not protected against lawsuits, but it also means that if you are injured, you will not receive compensation or coverage automatically. Instead, if you wish to seek damages, you will need to pursue that action in court.
For those employers who opt into workers’ compensation programs, their losses are limited as is any employee recovery. In fact, employees who seek restitution in a workers’ compensation system will receive significantly less than in those situations with a non-subscriber. For example, if an oil worker is injured on the job and can no longer perform labor-intensive work, he may only receive a couple hundred thousand in damages working for a subscriber. However, that same employee, working for a non-subscriber, may earn a recovery judgment of a million or better. Therefore, while the streamlined process of workers’ compensation is nice for both employers and employees, it is not as financially beneficial to employees as it is to employers.
Workers’ compensation is a complicated insurance policy, and while it is designed to help both employees and employers, it does not do so equally. Therefore, if you were injured on the job and work for a subscriber, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in your area to help ensure that you get the recovery you deserve.