Workers compensation is a specific division of personal injury that I find interesting because injured workers around the country seem to have a difficult time getting the benefits they need. While the government requires many employers to have workers compensation insurance as protection for their employees if they get injured at work, being approved for benefits isn’t always as easy as it seems. Additionally, the benefits received, when approved, aren’t always sufficient.

I wanted to inspect Arizona’s workers comp policies and compare these policies to other states around the country. I’m interested to see which states must provide workers comp and how the claims process works.

Most States Require Employers to Carry Workers Comp

While each state varies in requirements, almost every state requires employers to provide workers compensation benefits to their employees. Some states, such as Arizona, require workers comp even if the business only has one employee, while other states require employers to obtain workers comp insurance when they have a minimum of three to five employees. There are also states that put specific requirements for workers comp based on the employer, such as construction companies and coal mining companies. 

Texas is the Exception

Texas is the one exception in which workers compensation benefits are not an employer requirement. Construction companies in Texas that are government contractors must purchase workers comp insurance, but this is the only law in the state requiring an employer to purchase benefits.

While the Texas government doesn’t require employers to purchase workers comp insurance, many still do, because having an employee file workers comp for a construction accident or a work-related accident is a much better scenario than facing liability claims. 

How to File a Claim

The workers comp claims process varies between states; however, most states require the employee to notify their employer about their work-related injury or illness within thirty days of when it occurred. You may seek medical treatment from a doctor of your choice but your company will likely want you to use a doctor chosen by their insurance company.

As long as the insurance company approves your injury or illness (meaning they can verify that it happened at work), then workers comp should cover all of your medical expenses until the doctor says you’ve reached recovery. Depending on the state you’re in, you should also receive a percentage of the wages you’ve lost from being out of work.

If you’re having trouble getting approved or obtaining the benefits you deserve, there are experienced workers comp lawyers who can assist you through the process and dispute your claim. If I were ever in a situation where I needed workers comp and wasn’t getting what I needed, I’d seek justice and fight for what was right. I’m glad workers comp is a nationwide benefit, but hopefully the process will become easier and more accessible for employees as time goes on.

Angie Edwards

[email protected]