Gwyneth Injured On the Set—How's Your Work Coverage?


Gwyneth Paltrow’s return to the big screen proved to be both thrilling and painful.

The Academy Award winning, and apparently accident prone, actress broke her knee while filming her new move Iron Man (VIA) which is based of the Marvel (MVL) comic book series. "I broke my knee because I'm a moron and I'm always bashing into things by accident," said the star, who has also broken her toe 30 times.

After undergoing surgery to repair the break, Paltrow, 32, is now up, running, and above all promoting her new blockbuster which opened May 1. Had she missed any time away from the job, her injury could have been covered by workers’ compensation. Workplace injuries, whether they be relatively minor, like Paltrow’s knee, or more serious, like the car crash on the set of the new James Bond flick (SNE) (CMCSA), can often rack up expensive medical bills that employees should not be responsible for.

For that reason, all 50 states have passed laws that govern workers’ comp for both employees and employers. Workers’ comp provides insurance to cover medical care and compensation to employees who are injured while on the job. However, “the basis for covered claims and benefit levels are somewhat different from state to state, especially for more serious injuries involving death, permanent injury, or serious loss of earning capacity,” says Greg Krohm, executive director of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions (IAIABC).

Because each state operates differently, determining the correct procedure for attaining workers’ comp after an injury can sometimes be confusing but there are a number of resources available for people to research their states laws and what they need to do for their particular situation. For all states it is important to keep in mind that the benefits can only be provided if the injury is reported properly. “If a person believes they were injured in the course of employment, they should immediately report the event to their supervisor or the designated workers compensation contact person in the company," says Krohm.

If you have workers' comp questions, here are some good places to look for answers:

The Workers’ Compensation Service Center
The Workers’ Compensation Service Center offers information for employers, injured workers and insurance professionals. On the site people can also view the laws by state, as well as get the forms needed in each state and key telephone numbers.

The U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor provides injured parties with contact information for each state’s State Workers’ Compensation official. The DOL also outline the guidelines for the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program. provides a fact sheet of people’s rights to workers’ comp benefits and answers questions such as "Can I be treated by my own doctor and, if not can I trust a doctor provided by my employer?"

The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions provides people with numerous resources on workers’ cmp public policy, legal resources,and other statistical data.

RM Library

RM Library provides employees and employers with various Workers’ Compensation decisions organized by state.

If you liked this article, you might also want to check out Can Insurance Cover Post Partum Depression, Marvel Looks to Iron Man to Do Some Heavy Lifting, and Health Insurance Options for the Self-Employed.

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