Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Workers' Compensation

Submitted by rsg on

If you have been injured or have developed an illness that is work related and can prove that it was due to your work, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance scheme. Each state has slightly different rules that govern how workers’ comp. can be obtained, but the cost of medical treatment and a percentage of lost earnings are the two most important components of a workers’ comp. claim.

Is Your Injury or Illness Work Related?

Many common illnesses and injuries are caused by the work environment. Examples are lower back strain, repetitive strain injuries, job stress and occupational illness. Some work related injuries or work illnesses may be so serious that a return to the same job or even any gainful employment may be impossible.

Workers’ compensation is awarded to any employee who is able to prove that their work injury or work illness really did develop because of the work environment and who has followed the established procedure established by the state workers’ compensation board or equivalent agency.

Workplace illnesses and injuries depend on the nature of the work done. For example, in a fast food kitchen environment, burns and scalds are common injuries as well as cuts from using food preparation equipment. In a store or supermarket warehouse environment, slip and fall and trip and fall injuries including broken bones, joint dislocations and back strain are common.

Health workers may be exposed to transmissible diseases and psychological trauma and stress due to workload.

How to Prove a Work Related Injury or Illness

To have a reasonable chance of obtaining the workers’ compensation you need, you must follow state procedure for claiming compensation. The most important step is to get medical treatment, including an assessment of the seriousness of your work injury or work illness.

You will need to collect all doctors’ reports and assessments as well as receipts for treatment. You may need to use a preferred medical facility if your employer’s insurer has one. If you ignore this preference and seek assessment and treatment from another provider, you may lose the right to obtain compensation.

One of the most challenging requirements is to show that the injury or illness happened at work or because of your work. Some insurers may try and avoid paying compensation by claiming that your injury or illness was not work related. Statements from work colleagues and supervisors may help you support your claim. You should ensure that any injury or illness while at work has been reported to your employer through a supervisor or manager and that the injury or illness has been officially recorded by your employer. Each state imposes a time limit on how long you have to report an injury or illness.

Some occupations are inherently more dangerous than others. This is recognized by many states and workers’ compensation may be easier to obtain if you belong to one of these more at-risk occupations. Examples of these more dangerous occupations include police officers, fire fighters, forestry workers and miners.

Don’t Go It Alone

It can be hard surviving financially after a work related injury or illness, but workers’ compensation can help to pay medical bills and replace lost earnings while recovering or obtaining treatment. Claiming workers’ compensation can be challenging but may be made easier and less stressful if you engage a workers’ compensation lawyer throughout the process. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation today!

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