Workers' Compensation Insurance & Benefits
Workers' Compensation is best defined in two parts:
Part One - Workers' Compensation insurance agrees to pay the benefits required under the Workers' Compensation law. The employee's injury or illness must arise out of and in the course of employment. Once this has been established, the employer is legally obligated to pay the required benefits for that injury, including medical costs and lost wages (up to statutory limits). Such awards are granted without regard to fault or negligence on the employer's part.
Part Two - Employer's Liability insurance provides coverage for an employer's legal liability to employees not covered by the Workers' Compensation law. When the injury or illness is outside the scope of Workers' Compensation law, the employee retains the right to sue the employer under common law. However, the employer is protected by three common law defenses: Assumption of Risk, Contributory negligence and Negligence of a fellow employee.