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What do workers' compensation payments cover?

Every accident is a bit different, so the specifics can vary, but workers' compensation may apply to a lot of related costs.

One thing to note is that workers who are hurt often cannot sue for compensation if they have already decided to take workers' comp. It's important to weigh the pros and cons.

That said, workers' comp typically will make payments for:

  • Medical care that is needed for a work-related illness, such as a respiratory issue after breathing harmful chemicals.
  • Medical care that is needed after an accident, such as a fall on a poorly-lit stairway.
  • Lost wages while the employee is out of work.
  • The cost of giving the employee additional training for a new or altered position if that's necessary.
  • Compensation for injuries that are never expected to heal, such as an amputation.
  • Compensation to family members if a worker tragically passes away in an on-the-job accident.

The amounts here will vary considerably based on the situation. For instance, the amount paid for lost wages depends how much time the employee misses, if he or she can return in a partial capacity, how much the employee typically earns in hourly wages, etc.

It's important to keep close track of all costs along the way. Medical bills can mount quickly and documentation may be very useful when claiming compensation or when starting a lawsuit.

Employees and their families must be sure they know all of the legal options they have, what steps they need to take to move forward and what obligations the employer has after the incident.

Source: Findlaw, "Workers' Comp Benefits Explained," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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