Any experienced workers’ compensation lawyer has been asked about what injuries qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. The answer to that question is longer than most people anticipate. In order to provide general knowledge and a solid idea of what to expect when filing a claim, Parrish DeVaugh Law Firm of Oklahoma has compiled a few guidelines to help.
Fault Usually Isn’t a Factor
Before the workers’ compensation system as we know it was invented, the only way a worker could receive compensation for a work injury was by proving their employer was at fault. This was a lengthy and unreliable method, so fault was removed from the equation for the most part. While it is understandable that you are not likely to be covered for a work injury if you intentionally harmed yourself, in most cases being partially at fault is not a problem for filing a claim. Even intoxication does not necessarily bar you from receiving benefits, although this varies greatly from case to case.
Ask About Any Injury Related To Your Work
Gacioch v. Stroh Brewery Co. is a notorious workers’ compensation case that outlines just how far the concept of “work-related injury” can be stretched. A worker in Michigan in 1990 claimed that because the brewery offered free beer on lunch breaks, his alcoholism was worsened severely. He was awarded workers’ compensation benefits based on this argument, which shows that if an injury is sustained by any situation or product related to the company, it’s worth the time to ask a workers’ compensation lawyer if you may qualify for benefits.
Other unique situations include sports injuries sustained while playing for a company team, or injuries sustained while making service calls, either in transit or at the location. It’s a good idea to ask about any injury that happens while you are on the clock.
Compensation Covers Injuries Specific to Your Job
Working with toxic chemicals every day is likely to increase your risk of debilitating illness over time. Similarly, shoulder pain doesn’t really come as a shock when you make a living pulling a heavy crank all day. Workers’ compensation claims include these types of repetitive motion injuries and what is commonly called “occupational illnesses”. To get a good idea of an occupational illness, think of black lung, which majorly affects coal miners. This illness is brought on specifically by the situation encountered at that job.
Mental conditions are covered as well. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a perfect example of how enduring a traumatic event on the job can heavily impact a workers life in a non-physical way. Stress is also known to cause a variety of problems, many of which are covered by the workers’ compensation system.
In the event of your death, your family members are entitled to file a claim within the system, and to receive benefits that help compensate for your loss.