Workers' Compensation: Injured
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Workers' Compensation

State law governs most workers' compensation claims. These laws are aimed at protecting workers from injuries sustained on the job. Most states require every business to have some form of workers' compensation insurance to cover its employees. A workers' compensation claim is not considered a lawsuit but rather, is a claim for benefits from the employer. Usually, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for workers, unless the worker can point to a third party as a contributing factor in their injury, such as a manufacturer of equipment. There are several types of injuries for which a worker can recover. In some cases, even work-related stress may lead to a valid injury for which a worker can recover.


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When determining whether a specific injury will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, the deciding factor is whether the injury was work-related. Did it happen while you were working? Or because of the kind of job you were doing? Were you on your way to work or at a work function? Answers to these questions will determine if you can get workers’ comp for your injury.

But does that mean any and all injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance? Here are ten injuries that people most often wonder about when it comes to workers’ comp, and how to figure out if you’re covered.

Can I Get Workers' Comp If I Work From Home?

You work from home but have an employer. One day, while at home, you trip over the dog running to answer the phone, and it is a work call. You're injured from the fall and apply for workers' compensation. Will your claim be denied?

You can get workers' compensation if you work from home, but the location may complicate your claim. State statutes vary, and each claim is decided based on the specific details involved, so it is difficult to say in the abstract what will happen. Still, one contested Oregon case demonstrates the typical issues.

Workers’ compensation insurance is in place to make sure employees get paid if they get hurt on the job. While this coverage can include a wide range of injuries and scenarios, it doesn’t quite cover every injury just because it happened at work or while you were working.

And it may not cover you if you fail a drug test. Here’s what you need to know:

NPR's Feature Case on Workers' Comp Settles: Beware Strict Provisions

Workers’ compensation is federally mandated and administered by states, but some employers may opt out if they have an alternate plan. When that happens, it can be more difficult for individuals hurt on the job to get compensation for their medical claims, as was highlighted in a feature on National Public Radio.

The story revealed the difficulties of Rachel Jenkins, 33, who was injured caring for a disabled man and denied benefits by her Oklahoma employer’s private plan. Jenkins and others sued the state and employers over certain provisions in the Oklahoma workers’ compensation opt-out plan. This week, Jenkins settled her claim with the company, reports NPR.

We depend on our jobs for our livelihood. And getting hurt on the job shouldn't take that livelihood away. That's why employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance -- to compensate employees injured while working.

Many workers' comp questions cover the types of injuries that may be covered, and the oversimplified answer is: work-related injuries. But what about the more procedural issues of workers' comp, like when you must file or whether you can sue your employer? Here are nine of the most pressing workers' compensation questions:

As a country, our views on alcoholism and alcoholics have evolved over time: instead of treating big drinkers as characters to be revered or "town drunk" characters to be laughed at, we now understand alcoholism as a medical syndrome that can have catastrophic effects on those drinking and nearby.

This more nuanced understanding can lead to more and better treatment options from medical professionals and social service providers, and more empathy from friends and loved ones, but what about from employers? Can an employee get workers' compensation if he or she is an alcoholic?

Can Workers' Comp or Injury Settlements Be Garnished?

You were hurt on the job and you are getting workers’ compensation, which helps. But your debts are many and you worry that your creditors are going to come calling.

You’d happily pay everyone what you owe if you could but you have no funds to spare and there is no way to pay off debt with the little you get now. Will your worker’s compensation be garnished? The short answer is probably not. Let’s look at some details.

Can I Get Workers' Comp for a Business Trip Injury?

You were sent to attend a convention for work and you got hurt setting up the company booth. On the flight, your back cramped up and the pain won’t go away. So now you’re curious — will workers compensation pay for this injury?

Breathe easy. The answer is probably yes, most likely, although each state does have its own statutes and every case has its own unique deciding details. But the first key to a successful workers compensation claim is that the injury is work-related. Let’s look at the basics.

Can I Get Workers' Comp for Anxiety and Emotional Distress?

You're stressed out and you can't deal with your job. In fact, it's the job that's causing your anxiety and emotional distress, or so you and your psychiatrist believe. You just cannot deal anymore.

Does that mean you can get workers' compensation for this emotional distress? Well, maybe. The answer to that question will depend on where you live and work, what you do, how the injury arose, and more.

What Are the First Steps in a Workers' Compensation Claim?

You were hurt at work and you know you can be compensated — after all you pay into the workers’ compensation insurance system. But you are unsure how to make a claim and what first steps to take.

The workers’ compensation system is designed to be straightforward and easy to navigate but it can definitely help if you know some basics. So, let’s look at the making a claim.