If you’re injured on the job, you’ll want to work with your employer to see if you are eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance many employers have that is meant to cover your medical expenses if you’re injured while on the job. It’s an agreement that says you will not sue your employer if he or she pays you compensation. If you are ever injured on the job, be aware of your rights, whether you are eligible and what your options are.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
The basic conditions for eligibility are:
- You report your injury to your supervisor and file a claim on time. If you miss the deadline, you may no longer be eligible for compensation.
- Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. Most, though not all businesses are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your injury must be a direct result of work. For example, if you injure your back while loading boxes.
- You must be an employee. Independent contractors generally are not eligible for workers’ compensation. For example, if you injure yourself while driving for Uber or Lyft, you likely will not be eligible, as you are not an employee.
Why Would You Not Be Covered?
Although the law varies from state to state, there are some general rules about eligibility. You will likely not be eligible if any of the following factors apply:
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
- You intentionally caused the accident.
- You failed to wear proper safety gear.
- The accident occurred during an altercation with another employee.
There may be exceptions to these rules. For instance, if you were mauled by a bear while under the influence of marijuana, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation as long as the attack would have happened regardless of the influence of marijuana.
What Should You Do If You Suffer a Workplace Injury?
If you suffer a workplace injury, notify your supervisor right away. Your employer is legally required to make sure you receive medical treatment for your injury. He or she will then decide if you are eligible for workers’ compensation. If your employer decides you are not eligible and you believe you are, you may want a lawyer to argue your case in court. Consult a local workers comp lawyer El Paso, TX such as Roger Davie P.C if this happens so you may receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.