When an injury happens at the workplace, the first course of action is to inform your direct supervisor and get medical attention. After you tend to your injury, you then need to consider why the injury happened and who should bare the financial responsibility of the medical expenses. Employers by law hold worker's compensation insurance policies for when they have a legal responsibility. However, not all workplace injuries qualify for worker's compensation and some situations qualify that you may not have known. Learn more about if you have a worker's compensation case.
Are you within the statute of limitations?
You must file your claim within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait until after the statute of limitations, you will not have a case.
Do you have documentation of the incident and the injuries?
You need to be able to prove that an incident happened at the workplace and that it caused an injury. If you work at a place with cameras, save all of your requests to obtain documentation of the incident. You can also take pictures of the condition of the workplace and collect witness statements to further strengthen your case.
Was your employer negligent?
Did the accident happen as a simple accident, or did your employer fail to provide a safe work environment? You may still have a worker's compensation case even if the employer isn't negligent. However, if the employer was negligent, you may have an additional case and greater compensation. You will need clear proof of the negligence.
Did the accident occur due to your illegal behavior?
If you operated machinery under the influence of alcohol or failed to wear the safety equipment required by law, you may not qualify for worker's compensation. However, as a no-fault system, simple negligence, such as failing to follow company-mandated procedures not required by law, won't bar you from filing a case.
Did the injury exist before the incident?
If you have medical documentation of the same injury from before the incident, the defense will use that to claim the injury wasn't caused by the accident.
Did the injury occur as a result of working from home?
Remote employees still fall under the company's worker's compensation policy, but you will need to prove the injury occurred as a result of work. For example, if a computer falls on your foot, that will qualify as a worker's compensation case.
What state do you live in?
Every state has its own laws regarding worker's compensation. To learn the specific details in your state, talk to a worker's compensation lawyer.
Contact a worker's compensation lawyer to learn more.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.