Accidents happen in the workplace regardless of how careful you can be. In fact, in 2011 alone, there were over 1.1 million injuries in the workplace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While many companies focus on the safety of their employees and develop safety procedures to help lower the risk of accidents, they are still going to happen. This is why workers compensation insurance is so important. When an employee does get injured, it is crucial that they have the opportunity to make a full recovery. Loss of income, medical bills, and time off work can all occur due to the injury. The problem occurs when the employer disagrees with the claim. Here are four answers to some of your questions about the employer's role in workers compensation claims. 

Who is Responsible for Paying the Claim?

Typically, the employer pays the workers compensation claim. This is done by one of three ways including, directly to the injured worker, through a premium to an insurance program, or by payment to the insurance company. Even though the injured employee receives the money, they will not always receive it directly from their employer. Who you receive it from does not affect your workers compensation benefits. 

Why Would an Employer Dispute a Claim?

There are many reasons why some employers do not take all workers compensation claims seriously. One of the reasons is because of the expense to the company. The more claims that are filed, the higher the company's insurance premiums. Because of the costs, an employer may investigate the claim thoroughly before paying out on the claim to help avoid unnecessary costs. Additionally, an employer may dispute the claim because they do not feel the injury is serious. All injuries are different and affect people differently. This makes it hard to tell how severe an injury is. If an employer feels that the injury is not as serious, they may deny the claim. As an injured worker, you can take the employer to court for a hearing to have the decision overturned. 

Can an Employer Retaliate After a Claim?

Once you have filed a workers compensation claim, your employer cannot punish you or retaliate against you afterwards. You must be given a job that is similar in nature to the one you worked before the injury. If you do feel that your employer is retaliating against you, then you should contact your state's Labor Department. There you will need to fill out the appropriate forms and have the state investigate the accusations of retaliation. For more information, visit a site like