The Truth About Workers’ Compensation

Every employee has a right to know how to qualify for workers’ compensation. Recovering lost wages and getting reimbursed for medical bills can be the difference between staying afloat and drowning in debt. For this reason, every American worker should know the kinds of accidents and injuries that are covered.

What Is Covered

  1. Mental Illness

If you have struggled with mental illness for years, or even your whole life, filing a workers’ compensation claim won’t go anywhere. It isn’t a ticket to free compensation for a pre-existing condition. However, if your mental health has drastically deteriorated as a direct result of your work environment, then this can absolutely qualify. If an increase in stress makes an already-diagnosed mental disorder worse, you can qualify just like you would if a work activity tweaked a pre-existing back injury.

  1. Car Accidents

If your job site is mobile, or if travelling is required as part of your job, then you could qualify for compensation if you are involved in a car accident. Driving is always risky, and if you are specifically driving as a part of your job, then you can be compensated for that risk.

What Is Not Covered

  1. Commuting

Driving as part of your job is covered by worker’s compensation, but commuting to and from work does not fall under this umbrella. Your employer is not considered liable until you are physically on the job site. Commuting and leaving for personal errands do not fall into this.

  1. Rough-Housing

Work-related injuries can occur anytime, including off the clock or at work-related events. However, any injury that is self-inflicted or caused by gross negligence will be automatically denied. This includes horseplay that occurs in the breakroom or on the job. If you hurt yourself, your employer is not liable for it.

Other Important Details

  • Statute of Limitations: You generally have a year from the time you are injured to file a claim. Any claims filed after this point will be denied. 

When you file a claim, you must be able to prove that you were on the job, at a job-related event, or driving for your job when you were injured. In the case of mental illness, you have to be able to directly tie it to your job. Otherwise, your claim will be denied. To get help to compile proof, or determine if your claim qualifies, contact work injury attorneys, like from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.