What Qualifies as a Workers Compensation Injury
Whether you are a business owner or an employee, it is important to know about workers compensation. There is always a chance that someone will get hurt at work, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Accidents happen all of the time. That being said, there are strict guidelines as to what a workers compensation injury is and what it isn’t.
At Sutter Law Group in DuPage County, we understand that every work-related accident is unique and needs to be reviewed individually to determine the best course of action. Furthermore, not every work accident or injury qualifies for legal representation. Clients from Oakbrook, Naperville, Elmhurst and other surrounding suburbs contact us regularly for a complimentary workers compensation case consultation.
1) First, let’s review the two things that are essential to qualify for workers compensation.
a) You need to be an employee.
It doesn’t matter how long you have worked there, as long as you are considered an employee. You could be injured on your very first day, and it would still count as workers compensation. Not only that, but you can be full-time, part-time, and even seasonal, and you still would be eligible for workers compensation. That being said, you aren’t eligible if you are considered an independent contractor, freelance worker, or consultant.
b) The injury must have occurred at work or be due to a job-related duty.
You can’t hurt yourself at home and call it a work-related injury. It has to occur while you are working. That being said, it might also be an injury noticed later, but due to something that you do at work. If you are struggling with carpal tunnel due to office work, you may be able to ask for workers compensation.
2) Does the injury have to occur at work?
Though you may think that your injury has to occur at work, the truth is that this isn’t always the case. If you are running errands for work and get hurt, you may be eligible. If you are working from home (like many people), injuries during this time may be considered eligible for workers compensation. Even if you are attending a work event and you fall, this could be considered for workers compensation.
3) What is considered a workers compensation injury?
You can’t use workers compensation when you are not working. This includes your commute to and from work. If you leave the premises during your lunch break, injuries incurred then are also not eligible.
So, what would qualify for workers compensation?
Almost anything that could happen to you while you are working could be considered for workers compensation. Some of the following would be included:
• Falling on a slippery floor or down a flight of stairs.
• Straining your back when lifting something heavy.
• Getting in an accident while running errands for work.
• Hurting your hand (or any other body part) with the machinery that you use.
• Becoming ill due to unhealthy conditions on the job, such as hazardous materials and toxic fumes.
• Repetitive stress injury (RSI), caused by doing repetitive work over time. This is commonly noticed in offices where people suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, but it may also be due to opening a cash register or moving your arm a certain way for hours at a time.
• Chronic illnesses that occur due to work can also be covered. This may include chronic coughing due to the materials that you use at work or even chronic pain due to the hard physical work that you are doing.
• More and more mental illnesses are being covered, though it can be hard to prove that they were caused by work. However, toxic work environments can be quite unhealthy mentally, and treatment should be covered.
Workers compensation can cover both missed wages and treatment so that workers can get back to their job. For this reason, you need to take advantage of this system if you get injured while you are working. Also, if you are a business owner with employees, you need to have enough workers compensation insurance to make sure that your employees are covered. You want them to feel safe to tell you when they get injured.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job contact, Sutter Law Group about your potential workers compensation case. We proudly serve all cities and suburbs in DuPage County, Kane County & Cook County.