Why Should I Know Workers’ Compensation Rights, Rules and Regulations?
As a business owner, it’s important to understand the different legalities and governing bodies of workers’ compensation insurance. For instance, your state may requires that you have workers’ compensation coverage. If you don’t comply, you may be subject to fines or criminal charges.
Say your employee is driving your company vehicle and gets injured in a car accident. You don’t have workers’ compensation insurance even though it’s mandated by the state. Without workers’ compensation insurance, you may face imprisonment. In some states, imprisonment for lack of workers’ compensation coverage can be up to 18 months. Some states will also fine you amounts as large as $100,000 for not having workers’ compensation coverage.
You may also be subject to lawsuits without coverage. For instance, say one of your employees trips, falls, and breaks their leg while moving merchandise in your store. As a result, they file a lawsuit against you. If you’re not covered by workers’ comp insurance, then the costs associated fall on you. This can have devastating consequences for your business. Especially, if you’re a small business.
Employers can also be expected to pay for injured employees when they don’t have workers’ comp coverage. For example, say you own a construction company and an employee breaks their leg. As a result, they need months of physical therapy and time off to heal. Without workers’ compensation insurance, those medical costs may fall on you and your business.
Every state has their own workers’ compensation system and laws. This means you’ll want to look into state workers’ compensation requirements in your area.
You’ll also want to understand your employee’s rights when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. Workers’ rights include:
- The right to file a claim for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job
- The right to see a doctor for medical treatment for injuries or illnesses sustained on the job
- Disability compensation for permanent injuries
- The right to appeal a court’s decision that they disagree with
- Legal representation by a lawyer
Each state has their own bureau to govern workers’ compensation laws and regulations. States govern workers’ compensation separately from the U.S. Department of Labor. In other words, workers’ compensation isn’t regulated by the federal government. Be sure to take your state’s laws into consideration when deciding on the best coverage for your business.
Workman’s Comp Rules to Live By
Workers’ compensation can seem complicated. To help you through the process of finding the right coverage, consider these tips:
- Evaluate your industries risk. Every industry and job faces different amounts of risk each day. For instance construction workers face more risk than insurance agents. Pilots face more risk than health care workers.
- Refer to your state of business operations bureau. This will allow you to get to know your specific state laws. As mentioned earlier, this is an important step in making sure you avoid penalties and fees. In some states, you may even face jail time for not providing workers’ compensation insurance.
- Call a specialist at The Hartford. This will ensure you get ample coverage. It will also make sure you get coverage for your business’s unique needs. You can reach our workers’ compensation specialists at 1-855-829-1683.
Although workers’ compensation is optional in certain situations, it’s good to have coverage for the unexpected. This coverage can not only give you peace of mind, but it also ensures your workers get the medical treatment they need. It can save you and your business from having to pay medical bills that result from on-the-job injuries.
Once you’ve gotten workers’ compensation insurance you’ll want to make sure you meet the workers’ compensation board requests on any claims you file. This will help your workers’ compensation case be processed smoothly. The faster it’s processed, the quicker your employee will receive coverage for their medical bills and other expenses covered.
The board typically requests details about the claim and injury itself. You’ll want to include information like the amount your employee earned on the date of the injury, the date they returned to work after the injury, and more.
As an Employee, What Are My Workers’ Comp Rights?
At this point, you probably already know that businesses have workers’ compensation to not only protect themselves but also their employees. That said, getting insurance isn’t enough. You should also know how to file a claim.
The first step to filing a claim, is gathering the correct information. This information includes:
- Company information. This includes your account number, location code, parent company name, and policy number.
- Your injured workers information. This includes their name, date of birth, address, phone number, social security number, age, gender, marital status, and more.
- Details of the incident. This includes the date of the incident, when the accident was reported, who reported the accident, the type of work-related injury, the reason for the injury, and more.
Once you have the information you need in place, you’ll want to talk to a representative at The Hartford. You can reach our representatives at 1-800-327-3636. You can also file a claim online on our claims page.
Keep in mind that your employees have the right to file a claim as well. Workers who want to file a claim, must meet these requirements:
- They must be an employee
- They must have sustained a work-related or workplace injury or illness
- They must meet their state’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a workman’s comp claim
After you get workers’ comp insurance, you’ll want to educate your employees on the claims reporting process. It’s important they know their rights.
Are Workers’ Comp Rules and Regulations Different in Each State?
Every state has a different workers’ compensation program and some may even have a workers’ compensation act, like Connecticut and Nebraska. Therefore, it’s important to understand what’s required for your business’s specific location.
Check out a few unique workers comp regulations in these states below:
- Alabama – allows businesses with fewer than five employees to be exempt from having workers’ comp coverage. This means sole proprietorships are exempt from coverage.
- California – requires all employers to have workers’ comp coverage. This is true even if the company has only one employee.
- Florida – requires workers’ compensation for all construction businesses including their contractors. However, they do allow up to three corporate officers to be exempt from the insurance coverage if they own 10 percent of the company.
- Missouri – requires workers’ comp for employers with more than five employees. However, construction companies are required to provide workers comp coverage at one or more employees.
- Oregon – allows sole proprietors to purchase workers’ comp coverage for themselves. Although, Oregon doesn’t require them to.
- Nebraska – has a workers’ compensation act that exempts federal employees, railroad employees, most volunteers, and independent contractors from needing coverage.
- Louisiana – allows employers to purchase workers’ comp through a private insurance company or through the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation.
- Minnesota – has no state funded workers’ compensation pool. However, employers can get workers’ comp through private insurers.
- North Carolina – requires agricultural operations to carry coverage when there are 10 or more regular employees. Regular employees do not include seasonal employees.
- New York – has a penalty for businesses that fail to have workers’ compensation coverage. This penalty is $2,000 for every 10 days without coverage.
Get a Quote for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation coverage benefits both the business and employees. Businesses won’t have to pay for injuries or illnesses out of pocket and employees get the coverage they need. This helps them return to work as fast as possible. Disability benefits are also covered by workers’ compensation. This can help ensure your business stays afloat when a claim arises.
That said not all companies offer the same workers’ comp benefits. At The Hartford we offer additional workers’ compensation benefits such as:
- A recommended network of medical providers. This is our nationwide network of over one million medical providers. This means employees will have easy access to the care they need. And workers’ comp will ensure their medical expenses are paid for.
- Prescription drug facilities. We offer more than 65,000 pharmacies throughout the U.S. These pharmacies will typically fill prescriptions for injured workers with no-out-of-pocket expenses.
- Nurse care. We offer highly experienced nurse case managers. These managers help coordinate care and treatment for injured or ill workers.
- Pay-as-you-go billing. This offers a convenient billing solution to your employees. This solution bases premium payments on actual payroll. This can help you manage cash flow.