When it comes to workers’ compensation, fault doesn’t typically play a role. If you were injured during the course of employment, regardless of who caused the injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation. The following are some guidelines regarding eligibility in most situations.
- You have to be an employee.
If you’re an independent contractor or volunteer, you’re unfortunately not covered under workers’ compensation. Employees are individuals who perform regular duties at a regular job for a regular wage. The individual’s employer determines their work hours and their wages.
- Your employer has to have workers’ comp coverage.
Though most employers are required to have this coverage, there are some who don’t get it. When this happens and someone is injured during the course of their employment, the employer could get sued. If your employer doesn’t have coverage, you should speak with an attorney about filing a civil suit against the employer or other third party.
- Your injury or illness has to be related to your job.
If you were injured in a car accident on your way out of town for leisure, your injuries would not be related to your job, and you would not be able to receive workers’ compensation. If you were headed from the office to a training meeting and were injured in an accident, though, you could be eligible. Your injury or illness must be directly related to your job to be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
- You have to report and file on time.
There are different timelines associated with the different areas of workers’ compensation. For example, some states allow up to 90 days for you to report the injury to your employer, while others require it to be done in just a matter of a few days. The statute of limitations to file your claim could be anywhere from one to three years, and sometimes even longer in certain states. It’s important that you take the time to understand deadlines so that you are eligible to receive benefits.
There are some special considerations that allow individuals who do not meet the previously mentioned requirements to still receive compensation. For example, if you were in a coma for four years and couldn’t meet the deadlines for reporting and filing, you would be given an extended period of time upon waking up.
Contacting Your Attorney
To learn more about workers’ compensation coverage and whether you might be eligible, contact a worker’s compensation lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer in Racine, WI, today. With a legal representative by your side, you’ll learn more about what you are entitled to following a workplace injury.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim for their insight into workers’ compensation eligibility.