Personal Injury Lawyer
Workplace injuries happen all the time, which is why workers’ compensation exists. If you were injured or became ill on the job, you could be entitled to coverage through this benefit. Wondering whether you’re eligible? The following four points should help you better understand eligibility requirements.
- Being an Employee
Only actual employees are covered by workers’ compensation. As an employee, your hours and wages would have to be governed by the employer to show you are an employee. If you’re an independent contractor, you would not have access to coverage in most cases, but there are some rare exceptions. Volunteers are also not covered in most cases, though an employer could purchase an expensive extension to workers’ compensation if they regularly have volunteers on the premises and want to offer that.
- Having a Covered Employer
Your employer has to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order for you to be eligible to receive it. There are certain requirements based on the size of the business and how many people are employed there, with rules varying by state. If your employer meets the requirements, he or she would be obligated to have workers’ comp for you and your coworkers. If your employer fails to offer adequate protection, he or she is at risk of a lawsuit if someone is injured on the job. This is why, even in states where it is not a requirement, most employers carry the coverage.
- A Work-Related Injury
Your injury or illness must be directly related to your job to receive workers’ comp benefits. If you had a pre-existing condition that was made worse by your job, you would have to prove that it wouldn’t have gotten worse otherwise. If your illness was induced over a long period of time and now you are in a different line of work, you would have to be able to link it back to your previous job with evidence. Other injuries will be obvious and easy to prove.
- Filing on Time
Only those who file on time are eligible to receive benefits. There are some extenuating circumstances that extend your deadline beyond the statute of limitations in your state, but they are rare. Some cases could include if you were in a coma or were mentally unstable.
Contacting Your Lawyer
Workers’ compensation is a benefit everyone should utilize if they qualify. You shouldn’t have been injured or become ill while performing your job, so you deserve to be compensated for the pain and the hassle. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer in Green Bay, WI, today to learn what to do next.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim for their insight into workers’ compensation eligibility.