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  • What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

    What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

    What is workers’ comp insurance and how does it work?

    Like most insurance policies, workers’ compensation insurance policies can be complicated documents most people sign without fully understanding (or even fully reading).

    Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance that most employers are required to have to protect both themselves and their employees should they suffer a work-related injury or contract a work-related illness.

    For instance, if a construction worker is injured while on a job site, they may lose time or may be left unable to work altogether.

    Another example is an employee being exposed to a toxic chemical or unsafe work environment, so they are forced to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit.

    Their employer – assuming they have workers’ compensation insurance – will then provide compensation to cover certain costs.

    Types of workers’ comp benefits:

    • Payment for lost wages
    • Disability payments
    • Temporary partial disability payments
    • Temporary total disability payments
    • Permanent total disability payments
    • Permanent partial disability payments

    Workers’ comp lawsuits are extremely common and typically something both employees and employers want to avoid but they are something all employers – especially those in blue-collar industries – are prepared for.

    Am I (or my employer) required to carry workers’ comp insurance?

    In most states, companies are required to pay for at least some type of workers’ compensation insurance, but the requirements do vary by state.

    In Missouri, for example, any company operating with at least 5 employees is required to carry workers’ comp insurance.

    The requirements also may vary depending on the state in which you work.

    Here in Missouri, any company operating in the construction industry, regardless of its size, must offer insurance to their employees in case of an injury or death.

    Related: What are the requirements for workers’ compensation in Missouri?

    Does my employer pay for workers’ compensation insurance or do I?

    The thing that confuses most people is how insurance for workers’ compensation differs from health insurance.

    Most of the time, health insurance is either split between the employer and employee or covered entirely by the employee. When it comes to workers’ compensation insurance, the employer is responsible for finding a carry and paying the ongoing fees associated with the insurance.

    In fact, the Department of Labor specifically states that an employer is prohibited from taking any payment from their employee(s) to cover the cost of workers’ compensation insurance.

    We encourage everyone to make sure they completely understand what their employer’s workers’ comp insurance covers before you begin work

    Types of workman’s compensation insurance vary depending on the provider, but for the most part, they are offered in general policies such as general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and business owners policy.

    When you are injured or become ill due to a work-related incident, the workers’ compensation insurance provider, regardless of how your employer may feel, is going to do everything in their power to make the payout as minimal as possible.

    Because of this, we recommend speaking with a workers’ comp attorney before agreeing to any payout or compensation. If you sign a paper or agree to any terms, your chances of increase or receiving more compensation get much harder.

    When should I talk to a personal injury attorney?

    As stated above, we recommend anyone who has suffered a work-related injury or illness speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer familiar with workers’ compensation cases. If you have already begun receiving compensation or think you may be entitled to greater compensation, you can still contact an attorney to find out what can be done to help your case.

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