When you've been hurt on the job, you might be wondering if you're eligible for workers' compensation. This type of insurance is meant to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to a work-related injury or illness. But how do you know if you qualify? In this blog post, we'll explore the key factors that determine your eligibility for workers' comp.
Workers' Comp Requirements
The first thing to consider is whether you're an employee of the company where the injury occurred. Independent contractors and self-employed workers aren't typically eligible for workers' comp. However, this can vary by state and other factors, so it's best to check with your state's workers' comp agency or a local attorney to be sure.
The next factor to consider is the type of injury or illness you've suffered. Not all injuries will qualify for workers' comp since it's designed to cover work-related injuries or illnesses. For example, if you were hurt while on your lunch break, you might not be able to file a claim. However, if you were lifting boxes at work and hurt your back, that would likely qualify.
Time of the Injury
Timing is also important when it comes to workers' comp eligibility. You must report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible after it occurs. Failure to report the injury in a timely manner can hurt your chances of receiving benefits. In some states, you have a specific window of time to report the injury, such as 30 days.
Lack of Employer Cooperation
Your employer's willingness to cooperate is also a factor that can affect your eligibility for workers' comp. Employers are required to provide workers' comp insurance to their employees, but some may try to avoid paying out a claim. If your employer is uncooperative or denies your claim, you may need to seek legal advice.
Finally, it's worth noting that workers' comp benefits are generally awarded regardless of fault. This means that even if you were partially responsible for your injury or illness, you may still be eligible for benefits. However, there are some exceptions, such as injuries that occur while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Workers' comp can be a lifeline for workers who have been hurt or fallen ill on the job. To determine if you're eligible for these benefits, consider factors such as your employment status, type of injury, reporting timeline, and employer cooperation. If you're unsure or encountering obstacles, consult a knowledgeable attorney for help navigating the legal system and getting the compensation you deserve. Our team at The Sexton Law Firm is here to help!