Workers’ Comp Claims
Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy taken out by an employer to cover the losses of employees who get injured while working. The overall concept of workers’ comp is fairly simple and straightforward; however, it can have some caveats that create challenges along the way. There are some ways to know whether your injury is eligible for workers’ comp — and whether it is not. Here’s a quick guide to know if you can file a workers’ comp claim.
You Are an Employee
The first hurdle is pretty easy to determine: Are you an employee of the company? This means that you are on the company’s official payroll and receive a salary from them. Excluded from this are independent contractors who may do work for the company but are not actually employed by them. Part-time or seasonal workers should double check with their employer to see about coverage.
You Were Injured While Working
If you were in your usual workplace when the injury happened, this part shouldn’t be hard to prove. Your injury obviously happened at work. In other cases, it can be more complicated. For example, what if you were out on an assignment when the injury happened? As long as you were working in the interest of your employer, you should still be covered. However, you may have to ensure another party wasn’t at fault for your injury first.
You Were Not Acting Negligently
While workers’ comp is intended to cover most injuries no matter who was at fault (an employee can be at fault for their injury and still get covered), it does not extend to all situations. If you come to work drunk or under the influence of drugs and get injured, then you were acting irresponsibly, and the employer shouldn’t have to cover your negligence in this case. The same goes for roughhousing or fighting among employees that causes an injury. If it’s proved that you were involved in any of these kinds of negligent activities, you can be barred from compensation.
You Were Not Going to Work
Commutes to work also do not fall in line with workers’ compensation policies. In general, you are responsible for getting yourself to and from work. Just as you are not paid for your commute, an injury during it is not covered.
Even if your injury seems completely obvious, an employer may not file a claim. If this happens, contact a workers compensation lawyer to help you out with the process.