While employers are trying to make the workplace environment safer for employees, on-the-job injuries still happen more often than they should.
Over 2.6 million on-the-job injuries and illnesses were reported by employers in 2021.
Luckily, workers comp coverage was available in most of those cases.
Workers comp coverage is insurance that is mandated in most states to protect both employers and workers who may suffer on-the-job injuries or illnesses. It wasn’t very long ago that workers who were injured on the job had to take their employers to court to try to recover financial damages after an on-the-job injury.
Progress, Not Perfection
How long we have come in just a few short years. While most people are familiar with workers comp coverage, some still have questions about the type of injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation. Just about any injury that occurs on the job will be covered in most states, although each state has its own rules regarding worker comp coverage.
Workers comp coverage provides benefits for employees who are injured while on duty. In most places, it does not matter if the injured worker is a part-time or a full-time employee as long as they are not an independent contractor. If employees are injured during the course of performing their job duties, then workers comp coverage pays benefits.
Commonly Covered Injuries
The most common types of workers’ compensation injuries include head, back, and neck injuries due to trips, slips, and falls in the workplace. Poor lighting, slippery surfaces, and inclement weather contribute to these types of workplace injuries.
Deep cuts, or lacerations, are the next type of injury commonly seen by workers comp coverage. Manufacturing and restaurants are the biggest contributors to these types of workers’ compensation claims with moving machinery and sharp knives causing most of the injuries.
Falls and lacerations are not the only other types of injuries covered by workers’ compensation. Job-related automobile accidents, burns, fractures, contusions, and more are covered by workers’ compensation when they occur on the job. If an employee is on the job and conducting themselves properly, then workers comp coverage pays benefits on most types of injuries.
Injuries Not Covered By Worker’s Compensation
There are a few instances where on-the-job injuries may not be covered or benefits may be reduced. If employees are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then benefits may be reduced or denied. If the injuries are the result of a personal fight not related to your employment, then benefits may also be reduced or denied. Workers comp coverage is in place for those employees who follow the provided safety protocols and still end up getting hurt while on the job.
Pre-Existing Conditions And Workers Comp Coverage
Workers comp coverage can get a little gray when it comes to pre-existing conditions because the laws are different in every state. Many times, an injury will be covered until it returns to its pre-injury state. For instance, if your back was bad but you could still do things until you hurt your back at work, the injury may be covered until your back returns to its pre-injury condition. Workers comp coverage will likely be a little different if a workplace injury leads to a disability due to a pre-existing condition. It’s possible that the total benefit paid may be reduced in that case.
Again, the rules are different in every state, so workers comp coverage is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Most of the time, a pre-existing condition does not automatically exempt an employee from workers’ compensation benefits. It is essential to ensure pre-existing conditions and workplace injuries are properly assessed for the correct workers’ compensation benefits to be paid.
Workers Comp Coverage
Workers comp coverage was put in place to protect employers as well as workers. Benefits are paid in most cases to help the injured worker cover required medical costs along with lost wages from missed work. Employers don’t have to worry about litigation from injured workers and are consistently encouraged to provide a safe working environment for employees.
While there are exceptions to every rule, workers comp coverage provides benefits in the case of most injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance covers everything from falls to lacerations, broken bones, and even automobile accidents as long as employees are conducting themselves appropriately and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. It is even possible that benefits may be paid when pre-existing conditions were present at the time of the accident.
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