what does compensate means
LexInter | April 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

What Does Compensate Means: Learn From The Professionals

It is important to clarify what does compensate means, because there are at least two commonly used legal meanings intended by it, and these should not be confused. The word actually means to counterbalance, that is, to weigh against.

The first legal meaning of the term is simply the payment received by an employee for the services he has performed for his employer. His work must be ‘weighed against’ with payment, (otherwise he would never have rendered it.) The second legal meaning of the term is the money paid to make up for a loss suffered by a certain party due to somebody else’s actions. This may or may not be money paid to an employee, because it is actually the legal right of anyone who has incurred a loss due to another’s actions.

What does compensate means and the kinds of incidents that warrant compensation?

1) Injuries:

Injuries

The kinds of compensation (on definition two of what does compensate means) that are most relevant in the workplace have to do with injuries. Overexertion and repetitive physical stress in the workplace may cause Tendonitis and other conditions. Other common cases involve fires and explosions, smoke inhalation, burns, spine injuries due to carrying heavy loads, vehicle accidents, and animal attacks. One particularly common case is that involving illness that results from conditions in the work environment. For example, workers exposed to asbestos may develop a serious condition known as Mesothelioma.

These types of workplace injuries will often need more than one kind of compensation, and this is for a very simple reason. More than one consequence results from them.

  • What does compensate means for the physical consequences of the injury?

The definition of what does compensate means can differ based on the fact if the injury was emotional or physical. As we all know, the costs of medical treatments can amount to a considerable amount of money. Emergency care, tests, extended hospital stays, surgery, and rehabilitation all have to be paid for by the injured party. Rehabilitation may include ongoing nursing care and treatments as well as the use of specialized equipment. An attorney will consult medical experts to determine the costs of future medical needs.

  • What does compensate means for the emotional consequences of the injury?

It is universally accepted that many types of injuries bring with them an emotional toll. Permanent skin scarring is psychologically detrimental. The loss of physical capability in any way brings with it the emotional challenge associated with adjustment to one’s new living situation. The incident of injury itself as well as the recovery period is emotionally taxing for the victim and for his family. Resulting stress and anxiety are very real matters, and even the act of translating them into monetary terms can tend to undervalue their significance.  Compensation of this kind is also known as ‘general’ damages. When handed down by a judge or awarded in a settlement, they may amount to much greater sums of money than medical costs.

However, they may not, and, to the contrary, be viewed as minor. If a plaintiff claims for both emotional stress and financial damages, it has been found that judges focus on the monetary sum and neglect the emotional toll. Also, victims have encountered a general undervaluing of emotional injury and a tendency to value injury in purely monetary terms. The key can tend to be demonstrating the emotional damage in a concrete way. Testimony of medical experts and friends about the symptoms of psychological trauma in the victim may be helpful in these cases. The arguments of a skilled attorney are often the factor that brings into the light some of the palpable impacts of emotional and psychological trauma.

2) Wrongful Death:

This unfortunate reality needs to be addressed financially too, even though, of course, it seems like a contradiction in terms. Carelessness, neglect, drivers’ breaking traffic laws, unsafe work environments, and negligent doctors are some potential reasons why compensation should be demanded from the guilty party. Amounts paid in such cases can reach millions of dollars.

  • Compensation for the physical consequences of the death:

The definition of what does compensate means can get completely different if there was a wrongful death. The victim’s family is often left without a breadwinner and with the responsibility of supporting several children. There are many times, extensive medical costs still to be paid, as well as funeral expenses.

  • Compensation for the emotional consequences of the death:

A negligent party should be held responsible for the family’s loss of love and companionship, as well as the spouse’s loss of intimacy and the deceased’s pain before death. What does compensate means In these cases? The emotional results of the accident are particularly pronounced and actually inexpressible. That’s why it’s oftentimes helpful to retain a car accident attorney who can persuasively convey the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Some family members feel insulted by the very idea of receiving money in exchange for this ineffable loss. When we pursue these damages, we do not mean to suggest that any such exchange could be made. All we mean to do is establish responsibility and offer the victim’s family a token act of restoring what, truly, cannot be made whole in their lives ever again.

3) Harassment:

Harassment

What does compensate means If the harassment is sexual? Compensation may be relevant if it is clear that a psychological injury has resulted from it. When unwelcome sexual advances lead to feelings of embarrassment, offense, or intimidation, this kind of injury is recognized as a normal consequence. It is more and more common for such claims to be looked on favorably by the law.

But another common form of harassment is the intimidation an employee may face for filing for compensation. Companies dislike these claims because they raise their insurance premiums. They are left in the uncomfortable position of lacking a worker while you are recovering, and of being unable to replace you. Therefore, your employer may attempt to retaliate against you by discrediting or slandering you. He may threaten to fire you if you do not return to work and drop your claim. You may be demoted in retaliation for your claim. And oftentimes workers find themselves pressured to quit their jobs. None of these tactics is legally acceptable.

  • Compensation for harassment:

Speaking first of sexual harassment, when therapy is needed to overcome the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, this can be valued, and should be compensated, financially. What does compensate means If an employee is forced to leave her job as a result of ongoing harassment? Her financial loss is, again clearly quantifiable. She should seek compensation for having to face this terribly unfair, and often criminal, conduct.

If an employer harasses an injured party to the point where they are forced to quit, or if an employer actually fires that party, then certainly that employer should be sued in court for financial damages. Employees should realize that these kinds of pressures are legally forbidden and not allow their rights to be trampled.

4) Retrenchment:

Retrenchment

What does compensate means in this case? Retrenchment refers to the payment due to a worker when he loses a job through no fault of his own, usually when the company needs to cut the costs of his salary. This type of compensation is particularly relevant in the times of Covid-19. It might be paid by the Government or by the relevant company.

  • Compensation for retrenchment:

This is calculated based on the date when the employee was hired and how many days of work he has contributed to the company. Sometimes the priorities of a company in retrenching its workers may be discriminatory. For example, in certain cases, it has been found that black workers were retrenched before others and in greater number. This may become a legal matter.

The means by which compensation may be handed out

While we discuss what does compensate means, it is also important to know how compensations are handed out. Most commonly, settlement negotiations are all that is needed to satisfy the injured party. Many find this preferable to the option of going to trial since it saves the victim attorney fees, work time, court costs, travel expenses, and the stress of preparing for an appearance in court. In addition, when one goes to trial, he loses control of what compensation will reach him in the end. Many judges hand down decisions that surprise and offend the plaintiff. The victim could often achieve a lot more with the help of an attorney with the know-how to fight for his entitlements in the arena of negotiation.

Further sweetening this option against the prospect of going to the court is valuable time is saved. A trial with its appeals may last months or years. On the other hand, there are times in which negotiations break down and the court becomes the best route to compensation. In some cases, the plaintiff feels it is important that the guilty party should admit their guilt and therefore insists that the matter be taken to trial. Here too, an attorney with the requisite know-how can make the difference between a successful visit to court and a grand disappointment for the plaintiff.

Talking about what does compensate means, statistics reveal that plaintiffs who make use of an attorney receive more than triple the payment of plaintiffs who pursue their claims independently. In the latter case, many plaintiffs are disappointed to find that they receive no payment at all. Attorneys are needed in order to establish the full amount to which the victim is entitled and in order to effectively fight for it. The performance of these two tasks may prove to be crucially important for the rest of the injured party’s life, as settlements received can range from low figures up to sums of money that permanently remove financial hardship from his life.

What does compensate means –  The forms compensation will take

Referring mainly to the first, but also to some extent to the second, definition of compensation mentioned above, there is base pay (wages and salary) as well as variable pay (bonuses and commission). There are also tips, stock options, and paid leave. Aside from money, there is recognition, special meals, and medical benefits. Employers might offer time off, flexible hours, awards, coaching and training opportunities, or a company car. Anything that enhances the attractiveness of the workplace culture might be offered to the employee, as the quality of his day-to-day work experience is obviously important to him.

With regard to compensation in the second sense of the word, that is, of making up for a loss, there are the possibilities of a lump sum payment and ongoing smaller payments. The first one is often more desirable since these payments cannot be disputed in the future, and the plaintiff may have an immediate need for a large amount of cash, as in say, injury or wrongful death cases.

What does compensate means – Who is eligible to receive compensation?

With regard to workers’ compensation, one must be an employee and not a contractor. Freelancers, consultants, and volunteers will not qualify to receive it. But it should be noted that there are many grey areas that might need legal clarification. For example, whether or not Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors has been a point of contention. Employees of temp agencies and staffing companies will be eligible to claim compensation. In this case, whether the staffing company of the hiring company should pay might have to be determined in court.

As we have mentioned, any work-related injury or illness really justifies compensation. Mostly, your company will have workers’ compensation insurance, which will offer you coverage for your injury. This might even apply if you are partially to blame for the accident. But note that this coverage may be inadequate. You might have the right to sue the company for damages. This will certainly be the case if a defective instrument or toxic substance caused your injury. Also, if it resulted from willful conduct on the part of an individual, a lawsuit would be appropriate. And the same would apply in any case where your employer is not covered by compensation insurance. Workers should be well aware of the settlement payments to which they have a legal right and not settle for small handouts from their employers.

Injuries suffered at work due to fights or due to the employee’s being intoxicated will not be compensated, either by insurance companies or through legal means. The same applies to intentionally receive injuries. One fact it is crucial to know is that you must report your work-related illness or injury as soon as possible. Do not delay, as this might interfere with your success in gaining compensation, even if you are most eligible to claim it.

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