What to Do After Being Injured While Volunteering
Volunteers are a wonderful part of any community. They step in when that bit of extra help is needed, often providing relief to the people who are getting paid to do the same thing. What happens if a volunteer is injured, though? Is there any compensation he or she can claim? The following are some things you can do after being injured.
Look Into Workers’ Compensation
Most workers’ compensation policies don’t cover volunteers. Workers’ comp is for employees of a company, and volunteers don’t get paid, so they are not employees. The good news is that some businesses that regularly have volunteers help them purchase additional workers’ compensation coverage for their volunteers. This is a way the employer shows gratitude and avoids unwanted lawsuits. It’s expensive coverage, however, so many employers do not have it, but it’s a good place to start if you’ve been injured while volunteering.
Contact Your Medical Insurance Provider
If you have private medical insurance, you can more than likely receive compensation for your injuries from your own insurance coverage. You’ll probably have co-pays and deductibles to pay for out of pocket, but the bulk of the expenses related to your injury can get paid for through your own health insurance.
Check for Student Coverage
Many students spend hundreds of hours volunteering as part of their education, and as a way to beef up their resumes. If you are a college student, you may have student insurance that will cover injury expenses incurred as a part of your learning experience. If you were interning for a specific course and receiving college credit for it, you could have student coverage.
File a Lawsuit
If all else fails and you simply have no way to pay for your medical bills after being injured while volunteering, you may choose to sue the responsible party. If you were going door-to-door delivering flyers and tripped over a homeowner’s dog, you could file a lawsuit against that homeowner. If you were in a hospital visiting patients and were stuck with a needle you shouldn’t have been, you could file a lawsuit against the hospital or the employee that stuck you.
Contacting Your Lawyer Today
Regardless of the coverage you think you do or do not have, a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a NY workers’ compensation lawyer, can help you determine which route to take. Whether you have medical coverage or are planning to sue the responsible party for your injury expenses, contact a lawyer today for help in getting started with the process.
Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into what to do after being injured while volunteering.