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Workers' compensation is theoretically available for any injury caused by your job, including frostbite. The extent to which you can ultimately recover will depend on how severe the injury is and how much time and expense it costs in lost work and healthcare.
The specifics vary from state to state, and certain industries follow special standards, so you will have to look into the particular law that applies to you. But here are the basics on workers' compensations claims, using frostbite as the example injury.
Causal Connection, Not Casual
Workers' compensation claims are not lawsuits. If you are injured at work or by a task causally connected to your job, it is a benefit that is available to compensate for expenses. It is a kind of insurance claim.
The key to getting compensation is a causal connection between work and injury. Read carefully -- that is causal, and not casual.
For example, if you work outdoors and, as a result of spending so much time outside, end up with frostbite so severe it keeps you from work and has you seeing specialists, chances are good your claim will be covered. If, however, you work in an office and just went vacationing in Mount Everest, where you got frostbite, do not file. There is no causal connection between your injury and your claim and, therefore, no benefit due to you.
Workers compensation is only for work-related injury.
Are You Covered?
States do not all extend the benefit of workers' compensation to everyone. Depending on where you live and what you do, it may not apply to you, unfortunately.
There are states that require employers to cover undocumented workers, but very few, while others do not include domestic help in the covered worker category. Note too that worker's compensation is for employees and many contract workers are not covered.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
As you can see, figuring out whether you can file a claim can be complicated. You do not need a lawyer to apply for workers' compensation but it can help. Attorneys are expert administrators, accustomed to handling official forms and paperwork.
A lawyer can ensure your claim goes smoothly and defend it if it is denied. It costs nothing to consult with counsel and the guidance could be very valuable.