If you become ill or sustain an injury because of the duties that you perform for your job, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. You can receive reimbursement for expenses related to your injury or illness, such as medical bills and lost wages, in return for agreeing not to bring a lawsuit against your employer.
There is a wide range of injuries or illnesses that can qualify for workers’ compensation. When determining whether a condition qualifies, the nature of the illness or injury is less important than the determination of whether or not it arose as a result of your employment.
Some jobs carry an increased risk of exposure to harmful materials that can cause illness. Well-known examples include workers in mining or construction industries who develop lung diseases after years of breathing in asbestos particles or coal dust. Exposure to toxic chemicals or black mold can also cause illnesses compensable by workers’ compensation.
However, it is not only physical illnesses that can be covered by workers’ compensation. Mental illness that arises from your employment may also be covered. This may include conditions that develop over time, such as anxiety or depression, or a condition like post-traumatic stress disorder that arises from a singular event.
There are essentially two types of physical injuries that may qualify for workers’ compensation:
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
These are sometimes called cumulative trauma injuries. There is no one event that you can point to as the singular cause of your injury. Rather, the condition develops over time due to the impact of performing the same types of motions on a regular basis. Examples of repetitive stress injuries include tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- One-Time Accidents
Sometimes an injury arises from a singular event that causes a specific trauma. An example would be a slip and fall on a slippery floor that causes you to break a bone or hit your head hard enough to cause a concussion.
Accidents that happen on work premises, i.e., in the break room or the parking lot, usually qualify for workers’ compensation, even if you were not clocked in at the time. However, the injury must be significant enough that you require a doctor’s attention and/or time off work in order to recover. A minor injury that can be addressed with simple first aid, such as a scrape, cut, or other small wounds, usually does not qualify.
A doctor can help you make the determination of whether or not your condition qualifies for workers’ compensation. If you have determined that your condition qualifies but is having a hard time obtaining compensation from your employer, workers comp lawyers in Milwaukee, WI may be able to help. Contact a law office for more information.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation and conditions that are covered