Those who get injured at work likely know that they can count on workers’ compensation for coverage. There is some misconception that only injuries that stem from accidents are eligible for workers’ compensation. While these types of injuries commonly do qualify, other injuries might also be compensable.
It is imperative that workers understand which types of injuries are compensable. There are several points to consider when determining how to handle the situation.
How the injury occurred
The way that the injury occurred can affect whether it is compensable or not. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, the injury has to happen while you are carrying out work-related duties. These can be your standard duties or include tasks that you normally don’t do. For example, if you are hurt while you are out to lunch with a client, you will almost certainly qualify.
Something that many workers don’t realize is that they might qualify for workers’ compensation for cumulative trauma injuries as long as they are the result of work. Cashiers might suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Installation specialists might suffer from knee injuries. Teachers and nurses might have cumulative back trauma due to having to bend over often at work.
Where the injury occurred
The location of the injury matters sometimes. For example, if you are injured at a work picnic away from the job site, that injury might be compensable if the picnic was considered a job duty. If you drive to and from sites during your shift, e.g., home health nurses or property inspectors, you will probably qualify for workers’ compensation if you are injured on the drive. Even some accidents on company property, such as those occurring in the employee cafeteria, would be compensable.
What caused the injury
One thing that people might not realize is that workers’ compensation coverage is meant to protect an employer from being sued if an employee is hurt. This means that, in most cases, workers can’t sue their employers for negligence. However, there are some situations that might qualify for personal injury lawsuits.
If the accident that caused your injury was due to a third-party issue, such as defective equipment, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the faulty part or piece of equipment. Understanding the liability issues can give workers more options for seeking compensation after an on-the-job injury.