Q: How can I be sure if my injuries are work-related?
Workers’ compensation covers only work-related injuries. These are injuries sustained during the ordinary course of employment.
Workers’ compensation covers only injuries that are suffered while an employee is doing something on behalf of his employer. While most work-related injuries happen at the workplace, they also may occur in company-owned vehicles or at corporate parties, picnics, or other social events sponsored by the employer.
Determining If Injuries Are Work-Related
Here are some circumstances that may determine whether an injury is work-related:
- A pre-existing condition that is aggravated due to employment responsibilities is generally considered to be work-related.
- An injury sustained during a lunch break is typically not covered under workers’ compensation, unless it occurs in a company cafeteria.
- If an employee is injured while he is intoxicated, his injuries might not qualify for workers’ compensation. However, if alcohol was served at a work-sponsored event, such as a holiday party, his injuries may be considered work-related.
- Mental conditions that are work-related, such as trauma sustained during a workplace accident, are covered by workers’ compensation.
- Injuries sustained while commuting to or from work generally aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if the injuries occur during business-related travel or in a company vehicle, they will likely be covered.
- If an employee is injured during horseplay or while otherwise breaking a workplace safety rule, his injuries may still be covered, depending on the level of misconduct.
- Hearing loss sustained in a noisy work environment, such as a manufacturing facility or construction site, is covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Work-related diseases or illnesses qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Employers and their insurance companies are often all too eager to exclude legitimate work-related injuries from workers’ compensation benefits. You need representation by an experienced attorney in order to prove that the injuries you’ve sustained were employment-related. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.