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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Workers' compensation is the insurance system set up to provide benefits to employees injured on the job. But does workers' compensation also provide coverage for independent contractors?

Generally, independent contractors are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits. But independent contractors who are injured on the job should not automatically assume that they will be unable to receive benefits. In some instances, employees may be misclassified as "independent contractors." In these cases, an injured worker that is able to prove that the circumstances or his or her employment are such that he or she should be considered an employee may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

What factors are used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor?

Worker's compensation provides benefits to workers who are injured, even if they are injured away from the job site. But does worker's compensation kick in if a person is injured while on vacation?

One Australian woman successfully filed a claim for worker's compensation after suffering an injury while having sex in her hotel room. In that case however, the woman was on a business trip. And U.S. worker's compensation rules aren't necessarily the same as those of Australia.

So what about injuries suffered on a vacation?

For an older worker hurt on the job, a potential workers' compensation claim may have an added wrinkle: Medicare.

Medicare is the federal health care program that provides medical benefits to those 65 or older, as well as some people younger than 65 who are on disability. Workers' compensation, on the other hand, provides benefits to those who are injured on the job, including paying for medical treatment for work-related injuries.

So what happens when a worker may be eligible for both?

Workers' compensation is the name given to state and federal programs under which workers who are injured on the job can recover for the costs associated with their injuries, including medical bills and lost wages.

To qualify for coverage under workers' compensation insurance, an injury must be work-related. These injuries can include both physical injuries, such as broken bones or carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as mental or emotional injuries such as depression.

But how serious does an injury have to be in order to qualify for workers' compensation benefits?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects many working Americans, and in many cases, workers' comp can potentially cover their symptoms.

According to the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD in their lifetimes, which can stand in direct opposition to earning a living wage. The workers' compensation system is designed to accommodate persons with PTSD, which can affect individuals in various ways.

So how can you get workers' comp for your PTSD? Here's a general overview:

You may think that you can only get workers' comp when you've been physically injured, but depression is often a viable way to obtain benefits.

Workers' comp generally covers work-related injuries, which can include mental injuries like depression and anxiety. Eligible depression sufferers may be able to claim that their employment has either caused their depressive state or possibly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

For many workers, explaining their depression to receive worker's comp may be difficult, but remember these legal points:

When you think of a worker's compensation claim, you likely think of someone injured by machinery or a worker who may have been hurt in a fall.

But what about a worker who was involved in a car accident? Although it might not fit the bill of the stereotypical workers' comp injury, an injury caused by a car accident may in certain circumstances be eligible for workers' compensation coverage.

When will a car accident injury qualify for workers' compensation benefits? Here are a few things to consider:

Wrist injuries may not seem like a big deal at first, but you should know that they can potentially be covered by workers' comp.

According to a 2013 FindLaw.com survey, 20 percent of those injured on the job suffered repetitive motion type injuries -- including wrist injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers may just accept the pain associated with these injuries as acceptable parts of their jobs, but worker's compensation is typically available.

Consider these points when thinking about claiming workers' comp for your wrist injury:

Workers' compensation is the system that compensates employees who are injured on the job financially without requiring a personal injury lawsuit. But do you need a lawyer to guide you through the process?

The system is set up to be "no fault," meaning that any negligence on the part of the employee or the employer is not at issue. Nevertheless, successfully claiming workers' compensation benefits can be a complicated, frustrating process, especially if your claim is denied.

Working with a workers' compensation attorney may be the best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Here are five things a workers' comp lawyer can do that you probably can't:

Workplace injuries can be caused by a variety of mistakes or omissions, and sometimes the victim feels that he or she is entirely to blame.

And it's not entirely untrue. As this series of Canadian workplace safety PSAs illustrates (in incredibly graphic fashion), an "accident" at work is likely due to a combination of preventable errors on both a supervisor and employee's part.

But even if the employee was largely at fault for the accident, in America, he or she can still potentially be entitled to workers' compensation. Here's why: