Private Investigator in Cedar Rapids Serving All Eastern Iowa
ABOUT WORKER'S COMPENSATION
April 20, 2015
At Patriot Investigations, the majority of our business comes from the investigation of worker’s compensation cases. When an insurance agent suspects that a claimant is collecting worker’s compensation under a false pretense, they may hire a Private Investigator to determine whether or not the claim is still legitimate. But just what is worker’s compensation and why does it exist?
Worker’s compensation or “worker’s comp”, as it is generally called, is insurance that an employer purchases from a private insurance company for their employees. If an employee is injured on the job, workman’s comp insurance will immediately cover all reasonable hospital, medical, and surgical expenses as well as weekly loss-of-income benefits for the injured worker. In return for this benefit, a worker is forbidden by law to sue the employer for negligence. This usually works out well for all parties concerned because it provides fast and fair compensation to the injured worker and his family while avoiding costly litigation to the employer. Worker’s compensation claims are not handled in court but by a state administrative agency.
In order to file a legitimate claim for worker’s comp, two requirements must be met:
1. The injury must arise out of employment If you get into an automobile accident on the way to work, any injury you sustain has nothing to do with your employer. But if you are a delivery person and get into an accident while performing a delivery, then any injury sustained would have been a direct result of your employment.
2. The injury must occur during the course of employment An employee is considered to be in the “course of employment” during the hours the employee is paid and/or required to be at the employer’s premises and/or performing duties. If a janitor is working from 9pm to 5am on weekdays, an injury during these hours occurs in the course of employment. If the janitor must come in to clean up after a company party on the weekend he is still in the course of employment. If the janitor uses the company’s vacuum cleaner to clean his car before he goes home and hurts his back, then this injury does not arise out of employment.
As you might imagine, there are lots of scenarios that are not so straight forward. The burden of proof is on the worker to establish that the injury satisfies the above requirements. With these points proven, the burden of proof shifts to the employer. If the employer can prove that the injury was due to some act of willful misconduct, the claim may still be denied.
If you get injured on the job, be thankful that there is workman’s compensation to help you through the rough times until you recover and don’t try to milk the situation into an extended vacation. Better yet, be safe.