Workmen Compensation

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What is the difference between fatal and non-fatal accidents in a workmen compensation policy?

The law prescribes all organizations employing workmen for their business operations to have a workmen’s compensation policy. It is an employer’s legal responsibility to protect their workmen against physical injuries or death suffered during the course of employment. In case the employee faces death, disablement, or injury due to the nature of his/her work, the employer has to bear medical expenses. He is liable to pay compensation for the contingency suffered by the employee. A workmen compensation policy covers this liability faced by the employer and pays the compensation to the injured employee or the deceased’s workman’s heir.

Inclusions of WC policy

A workmen’s compensation policy covers the following instances –

  • Accidental death
  • Permanent total disablement
  • Permanent partial disablement
  • Temporary total disablement
  • Diseases suffered by the employee due to the nature of work
  • Any other type of personal injuries suffered due to work

These injuries, death, and disablements should have occurred due to an external, violent, and unforeseen accident. The claim for policy benefits arise only if any worker faces  physical injuries due to accidents at the workplace

Two types of accidents can happen – fatal and non-fatal.

Fatal Accidents:

A fatal accident is one where there is death or a high risk of losing the employee’s life. In case of a fatal accident, the employee might die or suffer severe disablements.

Non-fatal Accidents:

Non-fatal accidents, on the other hand, are those accidents that don’t have a high probability of death. In such cases, the employee or the workman survives.  However, they have to suffer disabilities or any type of personal injuries.

Both fatal and non-fatal accidents are covered by a workmen’s compensation policy, provided such accidents result in any of the above mentioned contingencies. Fatal accidents may result in death, or permanent total disablement, permanent partial disablement, or fatal injuries. If any of these contingencies occur, the workers’ compensation policy would pay the claim faced by the company.

In the case of non-fatal accidents, the covered contingencies might not occur. The employee might not face any type of disablement or injury from such accidents. If the employee or workman suffers from disablement that does not last for more than 3 days, the claim would not be paid. Many workmen’s compensation policies do not usually cover non-fatal accidents unless they cause a disablement lasting for more than 3 days.

Understand WC policy coverage before buying

Companies should, therefore, understand the scope of coverages offered by a workmen’s compensation policy. They should take note of the types of contingencies covered under the policy. It is important to know the types of accidents covered by the policy. If the policy does not cover non-fatal accidents then the medical costs for injuries arising out of such accidents are not paid. However, since non-fatal accidents do not result in major injuries, the company can expect to face a minimal liability, which it can usually pay on its own.

Therefore, a workmen compensation policy covers major instances of fatal and non-fatal accidents related claims that lead to financial distress for the worker and company.

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