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How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?

Posted November 11, 2018 | News

Work Injury Lawyers

If you were injured on the job, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help with payments for your lost wages and medical bills that result from the injury. It can be hard to determine whether or not you are eligible for workers’ compensation, but it is imperative to know that if you receive workers’ compensation you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer to receive damages for your injuries. There are few exceptions to this rule.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

When determining whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation, there are usually four requirements. These are:

  1.     You must be an employee of the company where you were injured.
  2.     Your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance.
  3.     The injury you sustained must be a result of an illness or injury that was work-related.
  4.     Because each state has deadlines for reporting your injuries, you must report these injuries
           and file a claim in the appropriate amount of time for the state you are in.

An In-Depth Look At These Requirements

Being an Employee. It is imperative that you are actually an employee of the organization. For example, you could be a “worker”, but you might be categorized as an independent contractor—a consultant or freelancer. If this is the case, you are not usually entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, people who volunteer are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits either, though there are certain exceptions, like volunteer firefighters.

The Employer Must Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage. This is usually not the problem because most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Although it varies by state, an employer is typically required to have workers’ compensation coverage, though this is dependent on what type of company it is, the work the employees do, and the number of people employed.

The Injury/Illness Must Be the Result Of Work. If your injuries were sustained anywhere other than work, it will not count as workers’ compensation. You must be doing something that benefits your company while you were injured or ill as a result of that work. There are issues that can make determining workers’ compensation benefits harder, though, like if you were injured during a lunch break or if you were at a social event for your company.

Reporting In a Timely Manner. You must submit your claim and receive medical treatment in a certain amount of time after you are injured or made ill. Even if you qualify for the above requirements, you can still lose out on workers’ compensation if you do not file in time.

What’s Next?

If you were injured on the job, make sure you receive the medical attention you need to first take care of your injuries (and have your doctor document everything). Even if you meet all of the requirements, there can still be problems getting your workers’ compensation benefits fulfilled. If you have any further questions about receiving your benefits, call a workers compensation lawyer Wytheville, VA relies on to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into workers compensation.