As a worker in Kentucky, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer an injury or illness that is directly related to your job. Although there’s a misconception about workers’ comp, a claim is not simply against your employer. There’s a lot more to it than that. It’s important to know the purpose of workers’ compensation.
Why are workers’ compensation laws in place?
The purpose of workers’ comp laws is to ensure that employees who suffer injuries or illnesses while on the job can be protected. They are legally able to claim financial benefits if they are unable to work or must limit their duties or hours at work as a result of their injuries or illness.
At the same time, workers’ compensation laws also protect employers against lawsuits filed by employees. Employers that employ a certain number of regular full- and part-time workers are required to carry workers’ comp. Workers’ compensation is viewed as a no-fault system so that injured employees can get the financial benefits they need when they’re unable to work.
Why is workers’ compensation preferable to a civil lawsuit?
Workers’ comp serves to protect the employer from a civil lawsuit filed by an injured employee. When you file a claim, it means you can collect benefits instead of filing a lawsuit against your employer to cover the cost of your medical expenses, treatment and other damages.
In some cases, it’s still possible for an injured employee to file a civil lawsuit if their injuries were caused by a third party. While that lawsuit would not be filed against the employer, it could be filed against a coworker who caused the injury. If the injury was caused by a defective product that was used at work, the injured employee could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of that product.
If you suffered an injury or illness while working, you should immediately report it to your employer or direct supervisor. Keep records of everything and file your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible. The earlier you file after reporting the injury, the better the chances of your claim being approved.