In many different workplace accident situations, you may find that you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This means that you will be able to file for compensation covered by insurance by your employer after you have been injured or became sick in your workplace. However, there are regulations on workers’ comp benefits, which means that you may think you qualify when you actually may not. You must first understand what accidents or incidents are covered and which are not before you apply.
The Importance of a “Work-Related Injury”
The only way that you will be able to collect the compensation you are entitled to as an employee, is if your injury was actually work-related and not done on your own time. If you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and became injured or fell ill, then the injury will be considered work-related and you will be compensated for it. However, there may be discrepancies in these rules. For instance, what happens if you were driving a work van at the time of the injury while running errands for your boss? In this situation, you may also be covered even if you were not physically within your workplace. If you slip and fall in a workplace cafeteria, you may be covered. Really, courts have looked at many situations and circumstances and used their best judgment to determine whether or not you will be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Workers Who Do Not Qualify
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Furthermore, there are certain types of employees who will not qualify for workers’ comp benefits. For instance, in many situations, those classified as independent contractors will not be able to receive benefits. Undocumented workers and illegal immigrants are usually not covered in many states. Some other groups of employees who may not be covered include domestic workers such as housekeepers and babysitters, agricultural workers, seasonal workers, and those who are undocumented.
When Coverage is Barred
There are other limitations that could bar an employee from recovering for their injuries. For instance, were you intoxicated on the job when your injury occurred? Were you using illicit drugs when it was specifically stated that this was against company policy? Coverage may be denied. It may also be denied if you have self-inflicted your injuries or caused a fight and ended up injured as a result, because this is considered horseplay and is frowned upon. You may also be barred if you suffered injuries while you were committing a crime, while you were not actually working on the job, or where your conduct actually violated company policy.
If you decide that workers’ compensation is not something you are interested in when hoping to receive benefits or you are not eligible, you may consider filing a lawsuit against your employer. If your employer has acted recklessly, then you can actually bypass the workers’ compensation system and sue your employer in court for all of your damages. However, you should always have an attorney on your side through this delicate and complex process. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for more information on what steps you can take!