What Is Workers Compensation Insurance? And How Does It Work?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance which provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to charge their employer for the tort of negligence.


The types of benefits which are available due to workers compensation to an injured worker depend on the nature of the injury, state requirements and the benefits included as part of the policy. In addition to wage replacement and the payment of medical expenses, workers compensation may also include vocational rehabilitation, compensation for permanent injuries and survivors’ benefits.

How medical providers are assigned to the case varies to states to states. Many states allow employers to send the injured employee to the medical provider of their own choosing. However, some states allow their injured workers to visit their own healthcare providers if they formally make such a request.

It also covers associated costs such as claimants’ legal fees and the costs of defending the action and this insurance will normally provide protection against the cost of defending prosecutions of the insured under health and safety legislation with regard to incidents relating to the employees.

Injuries covered by workers compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation coverage is meant to compensate employees who sustain any work related injury. Some states further expand this definition of workers compensation to include illnesses that are work related. Other states only allow specific illnesses to trigger the coverage.

The work-related injury may not have to be caused by a single accident. For example, an illness that results because of continued exposure to certain chemicals in the work environment may trigger a workers’ compensation claim or repetitive stress injuries.

Employees do not necessarily have to be at work to be covered under such insurance programs. Workers compensation may cover these injuries if they are completing a work-related task at their employer’s request and are injured in the process. However, workers who are driving to and from work who are injured are generally not considered to be work-related accidents.

In addition to this, some states allow their employers to conduct a drug or alcohol test after an accident and will hold the employer blameless if the employee fails such a test. Workers compensation also does not usually cover intentional acts or self-inflicted of the employer or other employee

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