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What is workers’ compensation?

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  January 19, 2015   |  

Considered a type of insurance, workers’ compensation provides benefits to an injured worker in the form of compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent scarring or injuries.

In order to recover benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the employee must prove the following:

  1. That he suffered an injury by accident. An accident is an unusual event or result which is not expected or designed by the injured employee.
  2. That the injury arose out of the employment. This requires that the employee demonstrate a causal connection between the injury complained of and an accident which occurred in the course of employment.
  3. That the injury was sustained in the course of employment. In other words, the injury occurred during the period of employment at a place where the job was calculated to take the employee and where the activity is within the scope of that employment.
  4. That the injury caused a disability. In order to establish disability the employee must prove one of the following:

a. That he is unable to earn the same wages he had earned before with production of medical evidence that he is physically or mentally incapable of work in any employment as a consequence of a work related injury;

b. That he is capable of some work, but that he has been unsuccessful in obtaining employment after reasonable effort;

c. That he is capable of some work but that it would be futile because of pre-existing conditions, i.e. age, inexperience, lack of education, to seek other employment; or

d. That he has obtained other employment at wages less than that earned before the injury.

Also, occupational diseases due to repetitive strenuous work over a long period of time or exposure to hazardous conditions or chemicals may be covered injuries.