If you’ve been injured on the job or fallen ill while working, you may be wondering if you’re eligible for obtaining workers’ compensation. There are several factors that may have played a role in your accident or illness that may impact your case, and you need to understand them fully to make sure you get the right compensation. Here are the basics of workers’ compensation and when you can file for it.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is simply insurance coverage that an employer has for their employees. Should an employee get injured or fall ill while performing their work duties, they may be able to obtain compensation for lost work hours and medical bills. Laws surrounding this compensation varies from state to state, as some states require an employer with only a single employee to have compensation insurance, while others require a minimum number of employees before an employer has to have insurance. Fortunately, as an injured employee, you don’t need to prove that your employer was at fault for your injury, as insurance will cover you regardless as long as it happened while working.
For Employees Only
Workers’ compensation does have its limits, and it is only for employees of a company that has insurance. There are some who might not fall into this category, such as independent contractors who don’t receive the same benefits as actual employees. Volunteers are also not generally included in this.
On the Job Injuries/Illnesses Only
The only requirement for obtaining workers’ compensation is that you were injured while you were working. That might seem obvious, but there are certain scenarios where you’re not quite sure if it counts or not. For example, if you get injured while on your lunch break, it likely won’t count for insurance coverage because you were not actually working at the time. However, if you were doing something work-related while on your lunch break, such as running errands, then you would still qualify.
Timeline for Filing
Just as with any claim filed to insurance, each state has a statute of limitations on how much time can pass after your injury that you can file a claim. The average timeline is about one to five years, but some states have even shorter deadlines. Check into your state’s laws to ensure you don’t miss out on filing your vital claim.
If you’re confused about your case or unsure if your injury applies to workers’ compensation, consider contacting a lawyer, like a Port St. Lucie, FL, workers’ compensation lawyer, today. Consulting with them can help you understand your rights better and get you back on track to a normal life.
Thank you to the experts at Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers’ compensation and the law.