Workers’ Compensation laws are designed to protect employees who are hurt on the job. These employees are provided with fixed monetary awards covered under workers compensation, thus eliminating the need for excessive litigation.
Employers with over 4 or so employees (varies by state) are legally required to furnish workers compensation insurance. If an employee is then injured, the employee files a claim with the workers compensation insurance company. Most laws require that you file a claim within 30 days of the accident, or 30 days after you learn of the injury (if it is a continuous, latent injury, such as an inability to breath).
In general, workers compensation provides replacement income, medical expenses, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. Usually, workers compensation will pay you two-thirds of your salary while you are injured. You may also be eligible for life-long benefits or a lump sum payment if you are permanently hurt while on the job.