Workers’ Compensation Law

Am I Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Laws?

In the United States, Workers’ Compensation laws have been passed that if you are injured or disabled while you are at work, you will receive monetary awards for your injury. Some of these laws also include benefits for the spouse and dependents of the injured workers.

There are some of these worker’s compensation laws that limit the liability of the co-workers and the amount that can be collected from your employer.

Most of these statutes are established at the state level. Federal laws are limited to employees of the federal government or those employed in a field that involves a significant aspect of interstate commerce.

Federal employees get benefits similar to those available under most state worker’ compensation laws. Benefits are awarded for disability or death that occurred during the performance of the employees duties, but not caused willfully by the employee.

Other federal laws have been passed to provide worker’ compensation to employees in specific industries, such as railroad workers, merchant marines, longshoremen and miners.

These other federal laws include:

  • Federal Employment Liability Act – says that railroads involved in interstate commerce are liable for injuries sustained by employees if they are found to have been negligent.
  • Merchant Marine Act (Jones Act) – says that seamen injured on the job will be compensated by their employers if the employer is negligent.
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) – provides worker’s compensation to specific employees of private maritime companies.
  • Black Lung Benefits Act – gives compensation to miners suffering from “black lung” (pneumoconiosis).