Workers compensation is a benefit program offered to employees of a company, in which the employees and/or their families can file for claims to illnesses, injuries, and even death, if they occurred while they are at work.
Workers compensation is aimed to ensure that the employees are protected in the event of an accident – to be properly compensated and to be able to take care of their injuries, without having to file a case against the employer. However, it should be noted that not all kinds of injuries are covered by this program. Here are some examples.
Work related injuries
The bulk of claims for workers compensation are centered on injuries that happened while on the job. State laws differ with the definition of ‘work-related,’ but generally they include:
- Injuries sustained at the workplace
- Injuries sustained within the scope of employment (while doing tasks related to the job)
- Injuries sustained at work-sponsored events
- Injuries sustained during horseplay, without the proper supervision
In some cases, workers compensation also covers injuries that were sustained because of the worker’s own negligence. So long as he or she is within the clock, then it is possible to file for a claim.
However, it does not usually include injuries due to self-harm, intoxication, or those that happened because the worker violated a company rule or the law.
Repetitive motion injuries
There are work related injuries that are also caused by repetitive motions, which include:
- Cumulative trauma disorders or CTDs
- Repetitive stress injuries or RSIs
- Repeated motion injuries or RMIs
These are usually caused by, or worsen because of working conditions. These are likely to be covered by workers compensation.
Professional athletes have filed and won workers compensation claims for cumulative trauma, which can range from joint trauma to head injuries.
Some kinds of jobs have illnesses and diseases that are associated with them, due to the working conditions and environment. An example of this is the black lung disease, common in coal miners, and mesothelioma for those in the asbestos industry.
It is also possible to file for a claim if because of the conditions allowed by the workplace; the worker gets exposed to elements that result in illnesses. A waiter who is diagnosed with lung cancer can file for workers compensation because the restaurant he works for allows smokers. The cancer, if attributable to the secondhand smoke that the waiter inhales, can be a solid ground to be compensated. Of course, the circumstances will change if the waiter himself smokes.
So long as the disease is documented and diagnosed, then it is likely to be covered by workers compensation.
Death on the Job
Survivors of an employee who loses his or her job due to work can also claim for workers compensation. Filing a claim for workers compensation saves everyone the trouble of having to sue for wrongful death to get compensated.
If you are looking for a competent personal injury lawyer, then contact W.T. Johnson to schedule an appointment.