If you have been injured at work, then you may be concerned about the expenses you may incur as you heal. These expenses may include medical costs as well as missed wages and physical therapy. These expenses are typically paid to you by your employer's workers' compensation insurance. Before you can file your claim, you should understand whether you are actually eligible to receive a payment or not. Keep reading to learn about a few things you will need to look into.
Your State Regulations
Every state has its own regulations when it comes to who and who does need to acquire workers' compensation insurance. Some states require the insurance based on the number of employees you have, while others state that you must have the insurance if you have a single employee. For example, in Arkansas, an employer needs the insurance if they have three or more employees. In California, Alaska, and Michigan, employers need the insurance if they have one or more employees.
However, you should understand that states often allow for certain exemptions, so employers do not always need to carry the insurance. Some of these exemptions are made in relation to the type of job you do or the amount of money that your employer makes. Also, only full-time employees need to be covered in some states. This means that seasonal and part-time employees may not be able to receive compensation for their injuries. Some states are very specific about their exemptions as well. For example, in Mississippi, farm workers do not need to be covered.
Before you start thinking about filing a claim against your employer, you should understand if you are actually covered by the insurance or not. Speaking to a legal professional who specializes in workers comp services can be helpful in this case.
Your Type Of Injury
Workers' compensation insurance claims can only be filed if you have sustained a work-related injury. This term is a bit confusing, because it seems to indicate that you need to be injured at your place of employment. This is not exactly true. While single, isolated incidents, like a burn from a malfunctioning piece of equipment or a bone break from a dropped pallet on your foot are obvious work-related injuries, others may not be so obvious.
Work-related injuries do include repetitive stress injuries. For example, if you are asked to lift 50-pound loads on a daily basis and you sustain a stress fracture across the spine, then this may be caused by the lifting. You can be awarded money for this type of issue. Also, certain illnesses that are work-related can also fall into this category. Certain types of cancers, like mesothelioma, are related to work activities and fall into this category. However, you should know that serious and life-threatening illnesses may allow you to sue your employer, especially if certain safety protocols were not followed.
Also, work-related injuries typically involve tasks that were completed for work, but may not have happened at work. If you were making a work delivery and were off-site when the injury occurred, then this is something that you will need to be compensated for. If the injury happened while you were on your way to or from work though, then you would not be eligible for a monetary award.
If you are uncertain about whether your injury is actually a work-related one or if you want to know about the regulations in your state and whether or not you are covered by workers' compensation insurance, then speak with a lawyer about your case. The professional can also help you to fill out paperwork and accompany you to court to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Contact a law firm like the Walz Law Office for more information.