Suffering an injury on the job usually leads to a workers' compensation claim to provide medical care for the injured worker and to compensate him or her for lost wages, among other things. However, especially in the modern world where job roles are not always easy to define and employers may look for any reason they can use to deny coverage to a worker, it is important to understand whether an injury qualifies under workers' compensation.
Consider your own work-related injury, if you have one. You might think that it does not qualify for coverage for a number of reasons, or your employer may claim that it is outside the scope workers' compensation, but this may not be true. To keep your rights and benefits secure, pay special attention to the details and use all your resources to make sure that you receive the care and coverage for your injury that you deserve.
Workers' compensation covers many kinds of injuries
An employer may try to claim that an injury does not qualify to receive coverage because it does not fit the employer's notion of a work-related injury. The law may actually allow coverage even if the employer does not agree.
Injuries suffered while an employee is on break. This may mean an employee is at a work-sponsored event, or having lunch. Many employers may claim that if it's not on the clock, it's not work-related, but the law does not generally support this position.
Old injuries aggravated by work. Many people have an old sports injury or some other ongoing source of pain that grows more painful or transitions to a serious injury again because of work-related strains and pressures. Even though the injury existed before the employment, if a worker suffers further harm to an old injury because of work, then it usually qualifies under workers' compensation.
Mental and physical stress injuries. Some jobs or employers are so demanding that a worker may develop mental injuries or conditions that severely impact their ability to function. This is more common than many workers realize and may justify coverage with proper documentation.
Diseases that develop because of work-related exposure. Depending on the nature of a job, the workers may experience significant or ongoing exposure to substances and conditions that may cause disease, such as cancer that develops because of chemical exposure.
Protecting your rights and seeking full benefits
If you suspect that your injury is more work-related than your employer wants to admit, you may need to use some legal tools to enforce your rights and receive the treatment and compensation that you need or deserve. Carefully examine all the specifics of your case as you build a well-documented, legally sound claim to ensure that your privileges and benefits do not suffer while you fight to recover from your injuries.