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Employee Accidents & Statutory Limits on Workers' Compensation

If an employee accident occurs in the workplace, then the injured employee will likely be eligible for statutory workers' compensation.

Each state has its own statutes regarding workers' compensation. In all states, most employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance to cover both their employees and themselves in the event of an accident.

Employee Accident Protection

According to workers' compensation laws, if an employee accident occurs, that employee can file a workers' comp claim with his employer, which will then turn the claim over to the insurance carrier. After some review and investigation of the claim, the carrier will determine whether to grant the employee benefits according to the policy. These benefits can include compensation for medical bills, as well as disability pay.

However, there are some legal limits. Workers' compensation claims must be filed with the employer within a certain amount of time after the employee accident or else the employee may be barred from securing workers' compensation benefits. This time limit varies from state to state, but there is usually a one- to three-month window following the injury in which to file a claim.

In addition, if the carrier denies the claim, the employee can appeal to the proper state agency in charge of workers' comp laws. This agency is often called the workers' comp board.

There is also a statute of limitations, or time limit, placed on how long an employee can wait to file a claim with the agency before the employee is barred from filing the claim at all. This time limit also varies depending on the state in which the accident occurred, but is typically one to three years following the injury.

Also, usually there are no caps placed on how much a workers' comp insurance policy can pay to an employee for injuries, rehabilitation costs, and disability. Often such policies will pay 100 percent of medical cost and rehabilitation costs and up to two-thirds of wages lost due to disability.

Employer Protection

In addition to protecting a worker when an employee accident occurs, workers' comp insurance also protects the employer from litigation. By accepting workers' compensation benefits, the employee gives up the right to file suit against the employer in most circumstances.

If you have any questions regarding your workers' comp statutory limits, you should contact a workers' comp attorney in your state.