Workers' Comp Injuries: Am I Covered?
If you have been injured while at work, you may be wondering if you are eligible to file a claim with your employer for workers' compensation. While it may seem obvious when you are injured by a piece of machinery or due to chemical exposure at work, not all workers' comp injury situations are that clear cut. Read on for more information about specific situations and qualifying for workers' compensation.
You are usually covered by workers' comp. for the following situations:
- For any injuries or illnesses that occur at, or as a result of, any company sponsored event, such as company picnics, softball games, or parties.
- For any business travel for your company, from the time you leave your home until you return to it. Local travel for training and meetings are likely covered. If your job involves meeting clients off-site, you are also covered for the entire appointment, including to and from.
- Surprisingly, for some misconduct (prohibited behavior, breaking safety rules, criminal acts)--with the exception of intentional self-harm. Some types of criminal wrongdoing do not qualify for compensation, however.
- If you have a preexisting condition that was made worse due to working conditions, you are covered.
You are not covered by workers' comp. in the following situations:
- If injured during your lunch break (unless you are getting a meal or running any other type of errand for a supervisor). A gray area exists if you have an accident while on your lunch break in the company cafeteria; it depends on the cause of the injury in this instance.
- If you are commuting to and from your job (sometimes you can get compensation if you are in a company vehicle).
- If your injuries are minor enough to be taken care of with a first-aid kit.
- If your injuries occurred while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Testing for the presence of these substances is normally one of the first tasks done after seeking medical help.
As you can see, some of these situations fall into areas that are open to interpretation. Many times, you will have to go the extra mile to prove that your employer is liable for your injury or illness. It's vital that you consult with a workers' compensation attorney for more information and to see if you have a claim. If you don't have an attorney or you have questions about your claim, you may want to check out http://www.lshlaw.com. Make sure to get some professional legal advise to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.