If you are interested in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to indicate with evidence that your illness or your injury is associated with work. While workers’ compensation covers a broad range of illnesses and injuries, not every instance will be covered and give you the protection you need. Talking to your supervisor and then a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible after the incident can help you determine whether you have grounds to file.
Typically, if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and became ill or injured as a result, then you would be able to recover benefits through your state’s workers’ compensation program. The work-related requirement may seem simple at face value but it can be extremely complicated.
Some of the most common situations in which an employee has concerns about whether or not they can recover compensation for their injury or illness are outlined below. These include:
- Company events. Injuries are likely covered by workers’ compensation if the company is sponsoring a special event like a picnic, baseball game or a party.
- Lunch break. Typically, an employee’s lunch break injuries or illnesses are not covered by workers’ compensation.
- Misconduct. If you were breaking a workplace safety rule or doing a criminal act or other prohibited behavior in workplace, your injury can still be covered by workers’ compensation but this depends on the level of the misconduct. The most important aspect of your case is how the injuries were tied to your misconduct and the scope of the misconduct involved.
- Travel. If you are injured on your commute to work, your injury most likely is not covered by worker’s comp. However, if you are travelling for work, but not to your typical worksite like traveling on a business trip, your injuries will most likely be covered. If you are driving a company vehicle during your regular commute, you may also be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
The issues associated with filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complex but the right lawyer can help you navigate this process even after an initial claim has been denied.