Injuries Must Occur at Work
The implication of a workman’s compensation claim is that you must be injured on the job in order to be eligible. It’s in the name, after all. Many people believe that you must be working at your job site in order to qualify, and if either your location or activity does not match this, then you aren’t eligible. But this is not the case; if you are injured at work, you can qualify even if you aren’t working. If you are on your lunch break when you fall down your building’s stairs, you can qualify for worker’s comp even though you weren’t technically working.
Likewise, if you are working, you can qualify for worker’s comp even if your injury takes place outside of your job site. Car accidents that take place while commuting aren’t covered, but if your job involved you driving, or if you are driving because of your job outside of your daily commute, then you can qualify for worker’s compensation if you are in an accident or otherwise injured.
Only Physical Injuries are Eligible
When discussing workplace injury, the focus is often on physical injury. But your job can negatively impact your mental health as well; unsafe or unsavory working conditions can lead to anxiety, depression or the exacerbation of a preexisting mental disorder. All of these could potentially qualify for worker’s compensation claims; the key is that you need to prove that your job is directly responsible for these conditions.
Damages are Lucrative
Movies and television portray people who file for worker’s compensation as lazy people who want to scam the system to make a quick buck. Plot points often revolve around faking or intentionally receiving an injury in order to get paid while not doing work. Not only is this uncommon, but even if someone were to try it, they would probably be disappointed by how much money they received.
Worker’s comp claims are not lucrative; filing a claim to receive damages is not the same as filing a criminal lawsuit; you aren’t going to receive millions of dollars because you slipped and fell on the job. Damages are paid for very specific reasons, including:
- Paying medical bills
- Lost wages
It does not cover emotional damages or other forms of compensation common in civil lawsuits.