Location Matters in Workers’ Comp

The incidence of workplace injuries by state affects the ranking of that state in terms of workers’ comp premiums. States with a high incidence of workers’ comp claims have higher premium rates, computed on a per $100 salary. For example, in 2012 Alaska has the highest premiums at $3.97 for every $100. The lowest is North Dakota, where covered employers only pay $1.08 for every $100 paid to its employees. New Jersey is ranked 16th at $2.66 per $100 while Minnesota is 24th at $2.33.

In general, covered employers in the US are required to provide adequate workers’ comp insurance. This is according to the website of Minnesota-based Robert Wilson & Associates, a workers’ comp law firm. Failure to do so render the employers directly liable for expenses related to workplace injuries of its employees.

The benefits that workers actually get depends on state statute, however, so location matters when it comes to claiming for workers’ compensation. In New Jersey, for example, the weekly benefits under workers’ comp insurance is pegged at not more than 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) but not less than 20%, depending on the nature of the claim, the injury and other factors. The SAWW for New Jersey is currently $1,101.89 for all workers. In comparison, Minnesota pegs workers’ comp wage benefits at not more than 50% and not less than 20% of the SAWW, which is currently $945.00.

Because the statutes regarding work injuries that lead to workers’ comp claims are quite complex and difficult for a layperson to understand, most employees are not aware of how their benefits are computed, and trust blindly to what insurers tell them. That is a sure way to get shortchanged. Based on an article on the website of Williams Kherkher Law Firm, many claimants fail to receive the full range of benefits as mandated by workers’ comp laws because they are unaware of their entitlement. This can significantly effect the welfare and health of the injured or disabled worker, and should not happen.

Workers’ comp is something that many employees take for granted until they suffer from workplace injuries. If that happens, the best way to get the full measure of workers’ comp is to engage aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation.

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