Workers’ compensation is a benefit that most employees are entitled to by law. Employers who meet certain criteria — which are the majority of employers in the nation — are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This ensures workers are covered while trying to make a living. There are some exceptions to the rules, so it’s important you understand who is entitled and what types of injuries qualify. The following are just a few examples of injuries and illnesses that typically qualify for coverage.
Sometimes the effects of working in a very loud and noisy environment don’t show up until later in life, but you can still pursue workers’ compensation benefits to help you pay for resulting medical bills. For example, if you worked in a loud manufacturing plant for your entire career, you might notice near the end of your time there that you don’t hear quite as well as you used to. If your doctor determines the hearing loss to be related to your job instead of aging, workers’ comp will typically cover doctor appointments and treatment.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Whether you work in a factory or sit at a desk, repetitive motion injuries can be debilitating. Some of these injuries include back pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other similar issues. There are restrictions regarding claims for these types of injuries in some states, but in most cases, you should receive fair compensation.
If someone experienced a sudden and tragic event while on the job, resulting PTSD could qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. For example, a teacher who has to fight off a gunman in the classroom could require extensive counseling, as well as some time off to heal. Workers’ compensation would most likely cover those expenses.
These types of illnesses are also often discovered later in life, though some are discovered during the course of employment. One example is someone who is diagnosed with black lung disease. Coal workers can contract this without realizing it until it is too late. Another example is a nurse being diagnosed with HIV because of an accidental stick with a dirty needle.
Getting Started with the Claims Process
As with anything in life, there are some exceptions, so you shouldn’t just assume you’re covered for your workplace injury. If you’re still unsure whether your injury or illness qualifies you for compensation, you should speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer in Green Bay, WI. Your workers’ comp lawyer can help you through the claims process after determining whether you have a case. Contact a lawyer today to get started.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim for their insight into a few examples of workers’ compensation injuries.