Although you may think that workers' compensation is a government-controlled program, it might surprise you to learn that it is a type of insurance that while state-mandated is actually paid for by employers instead. This insurance is used to cover payments made to employees who become injured or disabled due to an accident while they were performing their duties at work. It can help to pay for their medical costs.
Interestingly, an employee who is injured generally receives workers comp regardless of who was really at fault when there is an injury. Since the benefits from workers comp are handled as a type of insurance, they also work to keep the employee from suing their employer because of their injuries.
While workers comp insurance does not preclude employees from being covered if their own carelessness causes their injuries, it is important to realize that there are limits as to what types of situations are covered. As an example, the state can require that drug and alcohol testing be performed on an injured employee and can deny the workers comp benefits if the test shows that the employee was drunk or high at the time they became injured.
Compensation could also be denied to the employee if it is determined that the employee's injuries are found to be self-inflicted or if they were violating either a company policy or state law when they were hurt. In addition, they may also refuse to pay if the employee was not actually on the job when the injury occurred.
Individuals who have been involved in a workplace accident may find it beneficial to speak to an experienced attorney to learn more about their legal rights.
Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Comp Benefits Explained," accessed May. 20, 2015