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Worker’s Compensation is a no-fault system designed to provide injured workers cash benefits (to partially replace wages while the worker is out of work), medical care and vocational rehabilitation. The “no-fault” concept allows for a brief, simple and inexpensive procedure which frees the injured worker from having to prove that the employer was negligent, and therefore, the injured worker does not have to “sue” to recover benefits. Worker’s Compensation provides benefits for injuries which are temporary, for injuries which are permanent, for disease which comes from the work environment, for disfigurement, or for the loss of a body part (finger, arm, leg, etc.). In the unfortunate event of the death of an injured worker, benefits are paid to that worker’s dependents. All states have enacted laws which govern procedures, discuss the benefits to be paid, and define numerous terms used to determine if injuries are covered. Issues of concern generally include things such as whether the worker was actually “an employee”; who is “an employer”; what is “an accident”; whether the injury “arose out of” and was “in the course of” employment; and more.
The system of Worker’s Compensation was designed so that anyone can afford to have an attorney. While there are many features which are fairly common in a Worker’s Compensation statute, procedures and laws vary from state to state, and therefore, an experienced attorney is always appropriate.