Before filing a workers’ compensation claim, employers usually have a number of different questions. If you suffered an injury while at work, then no doubt you probably have questions of your own. Here are some of the most common questions that employees ask about workers’ compensation eligibility.
What if the Injury Is Your Fault?
A lot of employees worry that they are not eligible if they were at fault for the injury. Fortunately, workers’ compensation relies on a no-fault system. It does not matter if you are at fault for your injury. For instance, say that you have poor posture at your desk and it leads to a neck injury or worsens your carpal tunnel. You would still be eligible for workers’ compensation.
There are a few exceptions, however. If you intentionally caused your injury, then you are not eligible for workers’ compensation. If you caused your injury because you were drinking alcohol or because you took drugs beforehand, then you are not eligible. There are other gray areas that you may have to consider. For instance, if you were goofing off, you may not be able to get workers’ compensation. If your employer tolerated this behavior, though, you might still have coverage.
What if You Weren’t at Work?
If you were not at your worksite, you may still be eligible for workers’ comp. It depends on whether you were doing work for your employer. If you leave work to pick up supplies for your employer, if you attend an office party, or if you hurt yourself while telecommuting, then you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation. You may also qualify if you were driving between job sites. The times where it doesn’t count, however, are if you are commuting back and forth to work. As long as you are doing something related to work, you can qualify for workers’ compensation.
What if You Develop a Mental Condition?
Mental illnesses may be covered by workers’ compensation. Stress-related conditions can be more difficult to prove, but if you can prove that your condition is a direct result of the job, then you may be able to receive benefits. For instance, if you suffered a trauma at work or if high stress leads to depression or anxiety, you may be able to seek compensation.
When it comes to determining eligibility for workers’ compensation, you do not have to navigate the rules on your own. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney, like a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney, with your questions before or after you file a claim. When you have a lawyer on your side, you will be able to navigate the process and be able to fight any rejections.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into some of the cases that would be eligible for workers’ compensation.