Are You Eligible for Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation is an insurance coverage an employer can buy to pay their employees in case injuries are sustained on the job. If an accident happens and an employee gets injured, their medical expenses, lost wages and leave for disability can all be covered, but there are a few requirements an employee has to meet in order to file a claim. Understanding if and how you qualify for workers compensation is great to know in advance in the event of an accident.
Not every state requires employers to have workers compensation insurance. When you begin work at a new job, you should check to make sure they have insurance that covers their employees. Some states only mandate that employers with a certain number of employees need workers comp. If your employer does not have insurance because it isn’t required, you may be in for a lawsuit if you get injured at work.
You must be an employee with a company to be eligible to file a claim with their insurance. Workers in contract positions may not be guaranteed workers compensation rights, even if they are injured at the work site. Laws about what constitutes an official employee vary from state to state, so look into your laws to know if you apply.
Any injuries that you sustain in a sudden accident or over time that happen because you are working all count towards workers comp. Illnesses are also included if your job exposes you to toxic chemicals. For those who telecommute, injuries that happen away from the workspace qualify too. As long as an employee was carrying out a task that benefited the employer, workers compensation can cover it.
Every state has a statute of limitations telling you the number of days or months you have to report an injury and file a claim. Most require that you report the injury to your employer within a month, though some limit this to just a few days. Always report the injury in writing so there’s physical evidence that you did so. You usually have more time, possibly several years, to file the actual claim. It can be beneficial to wait to file the claim until you know the full extent of your injuries.
An insurance company may try to use any of these qualifications to prevent you from receiving compensation. Contact an attorney, like a workers compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, if your claim comes to a halt because of them.