While workers’ compensation sounds simple, there are some gray areas that vary from state to state. If you’re injured on the job, you might wonder if you are eligible for compensation. Your human resources manager may be able to help you, but a lawyer could also help you determine whether you can seek compensation. The following are five requirements that will help see if it is worth filing.
You’re an Employee
Not everyone who works “for” a company is considered an employee. In most states, agricultural employees, seasonal employees, domestic workers, and other similar individuals are not considered covered employees. Independent contractors are typically not covered, either. The definition of an employee is going to vary by state, but in most cases, you’d be included if your schedule and paycheck are controlled by the employer.
The Employer Carries Insurance
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exceptions, though. For example, an employer in Alabama with fewer than five employees is not required to have this type of coverage. You wouldn’t be able to file a claim if your employer didn’t have the coverage available.
Your Injury Is Directly Related to Your Job
Workers’ compensation is only for injuries directly related to your job. If you are in a car accident while making deliveries for your boss, that would be related to your job and would probably qualify. If you were running personal errands on your lunch break, you wouldn’t be eligible.
All Deadlines Have Been Met
There are certain deadlines that have to be met in order for you to be eligible for workers’ compensation. The first thing you’ll need to do is report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Doing so in writing is always better than doing it verbally, but it must be done in a short period of time. You’ll then need to file the claim within a certain amount of time, which varies by state. If you are physically unable to do so, a family member or personal representative can make the claim for you.
You’ve Attended All Appointments
It’s important you attend all medical appointments and examinations. Missing any could look as though you’re being noncompliant with medical advice, which could be a reason to discontinue coverage. You should also do as your doctors say. If you are told not to play sports, don’t. If you are told to stay home from work for a certain period of time, do it.
Contacting a Lawyer
As you can see, there are specific criteria that must be met in order for you to qualify for workers’ compensation. If you’re injured on the job, you should contact a lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer, from our friends at Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt can provide clients with further insight on whether an injury qualifies for coverage.