What Is Workman's Compensation? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 18 December 2020

What Is Workman's Compensation?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, accidents happen in the workplace. It’s essential to know your rights so you’ll be compensated fairly. If you’re hurt while working, it can cause several difficulties. From medical bills and other expenses to not driving or being unemployable, you’ll need to know where you can get support.

While you’re dealing with the accident’s immediate consequences, we know it can be challenging to get a clear picture of what you should do next. Knowing what you’re entitled to is only the first step. You’ll need to know how to make a claim, what is covered, and how the process might affect your rights.

To be left in the dark while you’re already experiencing a stressful situation will only make matters worse. That’s why we’ve answered the crucial workers’ compensation questions in this guide. Read on to find out what kind of cover you can get, what injuries it includes, and how to make a claim. We’ll also talk you through your and your employer’s responsibilities so that you know exactly where you stand. 

Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Understanding Workers’ CompensationWorkers’ compensation was first introduced in Ontario in 1915. Other provinces adopted the program in the following years. It’s a publicly sponsored system that was devised to find a compromise that suited employees and employers. It pays financial sums to staff members if they are injured or disabled through their employment.

Most employers in Ontario pay into the province-wide system. This workers’ compensation system is a type of insurance. It specifically concerns employees and compensation for injuries or disabilities sustained due to their careers. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) oversees the fund in the province. 

Other provinces have their own independent boards. They include the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Alberta and WorkSafe BC in British Columbia. Some boards, like the WSIB, take a role in accident prevention and benefits and services for employees who are ill or injured. 

When an employee claims and accepts workers’ compensation benefits, they waive their right to sue their employer for negligence over the accident. 

Types of Expenses Workers’ Compensation Covers

Types of Expenses Workers’ Compensation CoversMinor workplace injuries that require first aid only and not additional medical attention don’t need to be reported to the WSIB. However, if you need treatment by a doctor or at a hospital, have to take time off work, or your pay is affected, you have a right to claim. Issues like broken glasses or dentures are eligible reasons to request compensation for repair or replacement costs.

Another type of compensation claim is for loss of income. If you miss work because of an injury or illness, you could be eligible for a payment that covers those wages. You could also receive services to help you return to work. When your situation results in a permanent impairment, you could expect to be paid a permanent outlay following the final settlement of a claim. 

Workers’ compensation doesn’t only cover your wages. It can include health-care benefits. These could be medical expenses, such as prescription drugs, treatments or physiotherapy sessions. You might receive rehabilitation expenses for training, medical equipment, clothing and care for day-to-day activities.

The WSIB also covers benefits for loss of retirement income if you receive payments for loss of earnings for over a year. You could be eligible for physical disability accommodation and retraining services, too. A survivor benefit is a type of cover given to the dependent or spouse of someone who dies due to a workplace accident.  

Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance

There are several injuries and illnesses covered by workers’ compensation insurance. They include:

  • occupational illnesses, which could arise from processes or contact with substances particular to your job
  • hearing loss, for example, after exposure to over 90 decibels for a certain period 
  • Stress-related illnesses and injuries
  • Repetitive motion and overuse injuries
  • If your work or workplace exacerbates a pre-existing condition

You could still be eligible for compensation even if you’re partly at fault for a work-related injury or illness.

Find peace of mind at work. Contact Diamond & Diamond to discuss your workplace-related concern today.

Responsibilities of the Employer and Employee

When it comes to workers’ compensation, the employer and employee should play their part by completing their responsibilities.

Employers’ Responsibility

Employers need to maintain coverage for liability through insurance. Once an accident has occurred, they should ensure that the staff member is receiving medical attention and report it as soon as possible to the WSIB or relevant board. Cooperating with each party’s representatives and insurance carriers is also their responsibility. They should also accommodate an employee’s return to work.

Employees’ Responsibility

As an employee, it’s also your duty to report the injury to your employer and the workers’ compensation board in your province. As the situation progresses, your organization, insurance companies, or the compensation board might need additional details, and you should cooperate. Ideally, the situation will not turn into a blame game. However, it’s your responsibility to work safely and make sure you follow medical advice after your illness or accident.

Get Legal Help with Handling an Employment-Related Claim

Workers’ compensation is a complex area of law. It’s a unique mix of mathematics as much as legal knowledge. The calculation of benefits can be incredibly difficult. In many cases, consulting with an employment law attorney with experience in these statutes will ensure that you’re following all applicable laws and regulations. If you find it challenging to proceed with your claims, contact an expert lawyer today

PRO TIP :

“Check a company’s history before applying.”

FAQ: How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?  

If you’re unsure how to proceed with workers’ compensation claims, we’ve answered some common questions below.

What happens if my employer is uninsured and I have an accident at work? 

If your employer doesn’t have insurance, then instead of processing a straightforward workers’ compensation claim, you would have the option to sue them for negligence.

Where can I report an employer if they don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance?

If your employer is a company that comes under the mandatory coverage of your province’s workers’ compensation board, then you can report them to the board for not having insurance. In Ontario, that would be the WSIB. 

What happens to unused money a company puts into workers’ compensation insurance?

Money in a workers’ compensation scheme buys insurance coverage. If the same amount of money is not paid as a claim that year, the fund or insurance company could use it for injuries and illnesses in the future.

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