What Injuries Are Covered By Workers' Compensation?
If you are injured or become ill at work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
To have your injury or illness covered by workers' comp, you're injuries don't have to be caused by a traumatic accident like a fall from a ladder or an equipment malfunction. It's actually more common for employees to sustain injuries or occupational illnesses over time.
Some workers may also acquire infectious diseases as a result of on-the-job exposure.
The article below will cover the types of injuries covered by workers' compensation and which injuries may not be covered.
Table of Contents
- What Is Considered a Workplace Injury?
- What Type of Injuries Are Covered by Workers Compensation?
- What Injuries Are NOT Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
- How Do You File a Workers Compensation Claim?
- Do Not Wait to File Your Work Injury Claim
What Is Considered a Workplace Injury?
Most work-related injuries, or injuries that occur on the job, are covered by workers' compensation insurance. This includes accidents and occupational diseases caused by exposure to work activities, materials, and equipment.
If you ever suffer an occupational injury covered by workers' comp, time is of the essence. You will have a limited number of days to report your injury or illness if you want to collect workers' comp benefits for your medical expenses.
Compensation laws vary by state, so file a claim as soon as possible after the incident. Any delay may also prompt your employer and their compensation insurance carrier to think that your workers' compensation claim isn't legitimate.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
An occupational illness is a chronic ailment caused by prolonged exposure to workplace hazards or work activities.
There are several types of occupational illnesses that you could potentially suffer from, including:
- Occupational Respiratory Illnesses
- Occupational Cancers
- Stress and Mental Health Illnesses
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
- Occupational Dermatitis
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
- Chemical Poisoning
Specific Incident Injuries
A specific incident injury is when a specific event caused your injury. Slips and falls are a great example of a specific incident injury.
Broken bones, herniated discs, concussions, and torn ligaments are all generally covered by the workers' compensation insurance as long as they occurred during the course of employment, and you weren't under the influence.
Pre-Existing Conditions Made Worse by Work
Specific incident injuries are pretty cut and dry, and it's easy to know if that injury is compensable through workers' comp.
But what happens if you have a pre-existing condition?
For example, let's say you've had a bad back for a while, but you injure it again on the job. For the most part, if an on-the-job injury aggravates a pre-existing condition, it should be covered under workers' compensation. Even if a work accident accelerates the progression of an existing injury, it could still be covered under workers' compensation.
Some injuries may be labeled as temporary aggravations. If the injury causes pain for a couple of days but then dissipates, workers' compensation would not consider it severe enough.
If you've endured pain for an extended period that has increased since the work accident, then it is likely not temporary aggravation.
If you have a pre-existing condition that was made worse by a workplace injury, make sure your doctor notes that the work accident worsened your condition or accelerated the need for treatment.
What Injuries Are NOT Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Not every workers' compensation claim is approved, so what injuries get denied?
Even though most workplace incidents are automatically covered through workers' comp, there are rare situations where your benefits could be reduced or denied.
Some of these situations include:
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the accident
- Stress or other psychiatric disorders
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries caused by fighting or horseplay
- Injuries caused by not following safety protocol
- Injuries incurred while committing a crime
- Injuries from engaging in a personal fight not related to your employment
- Not using provided safety devices or gear
- Providing false information to receive benefits
There are instances where an employer or their insurance company state that an injured worker was acting incorrectly (when they weren't), so they don't have to award workers' comp benefits.
If that happened to you, you should contact a workers' compensation lawyer right away. They will assist you in gathering evidence to prove your case.
How Do You File a Workers Compensation Claim?
To receive workers' comp benefits, you have to file a claim in a timely manner.
To start the claims process, you need to:
- Notify your employer about the work injury or illness. Include the date, time, type of injury, and how the injury occurred.
- File a formal workers' compensation claim.
These steps are crucial. It is extremely tough to get compensation if you do not go through the correct steps of filing a claim. Once you've done that, your employer and their insurance company will choose a doctor to conduct an independent medical examination.
The doctor will report the results to the insurance company who uses those results to come up with a workers' comp benefits amount.
The workers' comp claims process and the statute of limitations differ slightly from state to state, so check your local regulations or contact an experienced workers' compensation lawyer at Helping the Hurt.
Do Not Wait to File Your Work Injury Claim
It is paramount that you file your claim as soon as possible after the accident occurs if you want workers' comp coverage. Failing to comply with deadlines could result in losing your chance to receive compensation for your injuries.
At Helping The Hurt, we are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for your workplace injuries. Working closely with our workers' compensation attorneys will keep you from missing deadlines and ensure that the proper documents are filled out correctly and promptly.
Our team of attorneys is experienced in personal injuries and ready to assist you with your workers' compensation case. We believe that you are entitled to the maximum workers' compensation benefits.
If you were recently injured on the job, click the button below to schedule a free case review with one of our work injury experts. Don't delay!