Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance coverage that is required, with very few exceptions, for every employer in Maine. The workers' compensation policy pays to workers injured in the course of employment, those benefits that are required by state statute; it also provides legal representation to the employer in the event that the injury or benefits are disputed by the employee.
Workers' compensation was developed out of the mutual desire of the employer and employee to avoid protracted, adversarial litigation in the event of workplace injury. Prior to the establishment of this type of insurance, an injured worker would have to sue his/her employer and prove negligence on the part of the employer in order to collect any benefits. On the employers' side, there was no limit to the amount of damages that could be awarded to the injured employee if the employer was determined to be negligent in causing the employee's injury. With the advent of workers' compensation, the employee traded his/her right to sue the employer (with its uncertain outcome) for a fixed benefit and the certain knowledge that the work-related medical bills would be paid and lost wages would be replaced. The employer traded possible defenses against a workplace injury (negligence on the part of the employee, for instance) for that fixed schedule of benefits and with that, the knowledge that the costs associated with workplace injuries could be ascertained in advance in the form of an insurance premium.
In broad terms, workers' compensation provides the following benefits to an injured employee and his/her family:
Workers' compensation premiums are determined by:
Foremost Insurance Group
Patriot Insurance Company
Philadelphia Insurance Companies