In most cases of an injury on the job, while working for an employer with workers’ comp insurance, you will be eligible for compensation as long as you file a claim before your state’s deadline. The specific rules will vary from state to state, so you need to make sure that you meet all qualifications for a successful claim.
Workers’ compensation is vital to helping you pay for medical bills associated with your injury and covering lost wages. Find out what you can do to get the maximum claim to which you are entitled.
What Counts as a Workplace Injury?
In general, the types of injuries that are covered by a workers’ comp claim occur while on the job. They may occur due to activities that are part of a worker’s duties, accidents, or exposure to hazardous substances. Covered injuries typically have a discrete cause, and a claim filed for one of them needs to happen almost immediately.
The following types of injuries are not covered by a workers’ comp claim:
- Stress or mental health problems
- Injuries due to criminal activity
- Injuries due to playing
Repetitive motion injuries may be due to workplace activity, but they are highly time-sensitive. Once a worker knows they have one, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, they’ll need to file a workers’ comp claim immediately. Otherwise, the strength of their claim could be diluted, as other causative factors for their injury could be cited by their employer.
What Requirements Do You Need to Meet for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In most cases, you will need to meet a handful of requirements to have your workers’ comp claim accepted by your state.
You Must Be an Employee
In most cases, employees, not independent contractors, freelancers, subcontractors, or other classifications of workers, will be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. If you have income taxes deducted from your paycheck, it is very likely that you are officially an employee of that organization.
Your Employer Must Be Insured
To file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer will need to have workers’ compensation insurance. According to Pintas & Mullins law firm, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to each employee. If your employer is covered, the insurance company may try to offer you a settlement after you file a claim. This amount could be significantly less than you may obtain after negotiation or by taking the case to court.
You Have a Work-Related Injury
Workers’ compensation claims apply to injuries that occur on the job as a result of work-related activities. This covers a broad range of activities that are directly related to your work, as well as workplace hazards that could cause injury. However, injuries that occur as a result of negligence on the part of the worker are not covered. Some types of injuries will require further investigation to determine the source, such as repetitive injuries.
Report the Injury on Time
You must report your injury within a time limit set by your state. Some states give you just a few days to report your injury, while Minnesota allows you to do so up to six years after it occurs. You will need to notify your employer and collect evidence of the damage to support your claim. Many people turn to a personal injury lawyer to support their claim.
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, it is essential to act quickly to get in the best position possible to obtain the compensation you deserve. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may lose future earning power and could be forced into a career change. A lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation claims can help you navigate this process and obtain the maximum settlement possible.