Personal injury can happen anywhere, but one of the most common places that injuries can occur is in the workplace. There are more than 31 million injuries that are severe enough to require a doctor’s attention every year in the United States, and many of them happen as a result of doing a certain job. There are three main criteria for evaluating eligibility for workers’ compensation — whether or not the employer has workers’ compensation coverage, if the injured person is an official employee, and whether or not the injury is work-related.
1. The Employer Must Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage.
Believe it or not, not all employers are covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, and there are a number of different factors that dictate whether or not an employer is required to have it. These factors are usually things like the number of employees that the employer has, what kind of duties and work these employees do, and what industry the business is a part of. If the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, of course, none of the employees that work there will be eligible for it.
2. The Injured Person Must Be an Employee.
If the employer is covered by workers’ compensation, the injured person must also be an official employee of the business. This does not include workers like freelancers, independent contractors, or consultants. Some employers choose to cover these types of workers, but they are not often required to. If an injured person is deemed by his or her employer to be a type of worker not covered by workers’ compensation, then he or she should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
3. The Injury Must Be Work-Related.
The third main criterion for workers’ compensation eligibility has to do with the nature of the injury. Essentially, the injury has to be work-related or it will not be covered; however, what constitutes a work-related injury can be pretty complicated. Whether or not an injury can be considered to be work-related can be affected by what the employee was doing when the injury happened and where the injury took place. Typically, if a person suffers a personal injury (physically or mentally) while doing something for his or her employer, he or she does have grounds for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If a workers’ compensation claim has been denied, the injured person should look for a personal injury lawyer with a background in handling workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits. There is often a short window of time to dispute a denial, so the sooner a lawyer is contacted, the better.