5 Important Facts About Workers’ Compensation

Personal Injury Lawyer

One of the most important rights American workers have is the right to compensation if someone is injured on the job. But how do you apply for workers’ compensation, and what type of injuries qualify? If you think you qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim, here are a few things you need to know.

1. You Must Report Your Injury 

The statute of limitations varies by state, but generally lasts for about a year after the initial injury. That means that if you fall and break your leg on the job, you have about a year to file a claim. However, a more important deadline is much less flexible — most states require you to report your injury to your boss, either in person or in writing, no more than 45 days after you were injured. Failing to do so will stop a potential workers’ compensation claim in its tracks.

2. Injuries During Breaks are Eligible

If you are at work and you are injured, then you are eligible for workers’ comp regardless of if you were on the clock or not. Injuries received on lunch breaks or at company events can be reported and recovered for compensation. There are limits to this provision: Injuries sustained while intoxicated or roughhousing are not eligible, nor are injuries sustained while running personal errands.

3. Mental Health Matters Too 

The kinds of damages recovered from workers’ comp claims are not limited to physical injuries. If you can prove that your working conditions are directly responsible for a decline in your mental health, the onset of a mental disability, or the aggravation of a previously diagnosed mental disorder, then you can potentially receive compensation.

4. Damages Cover Medical Costs

The fictitious stereotype of the sleazy worker who fakes an injury to receive workers’ comp would be out of luck. Most damages are used to cover medical costs or to pay back lost wages due to injury. Workers’ compensation is not free money that is just given to someone because they claim they were injured.

5. Hire a Lawyer

Like any insurance company, workers’ compensation insurance operates on minimizing damages awarded. If you have been mentally or physically injured while on the job, you will likely have to fight for the compensation you deserve and prove beyond a doubt that you were injured, that the injury occurred at your workplace, and that your injury qualifies. Contact a lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, for more information today.