We are happy to share a guest post from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., who are great trial lawyers in Washington D.C.
One of the main factors employers look at before deciding on whether or not to grant workers’ compensation benefits is if the injury is work related or not. In order to qualify for benefits, you have to show that you sustained the injury while doing a work-related task. Let’s take a closer look at some common scenarios:
If you got injured while on your lunch break, you may or may not qualify for benefits. For instance, if you were walking to a restaurant and fell on the sidewalk, you generally won’t be eligible for benefits. However, if you were eating lunch in the employee break room and got hurt, the injury will typically be considered work-related and you will qualify for benefits.
Typically, workers’ compensation won’t cover injuries that were sustained while traveling to and from work. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you were driving a company vehicle, running errands for your boss or going on a business trip and suffered an injury, you may be entitled to benefits.
Injuries that Developed Over Time
Not all work injuries happen all of a sudden. Some of them, including repetitive stress injuries, occur over a long period of time. While these injuries do qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, they can be difficult to prove. You will have to have evidence that these injuries did indeed occur at work and not somewhere else.
Many companies nowadays hold events for their employees throughout the year, including baseball games, picnics and barbecues. These events are typically considered work-related and any injuries sustained during those events qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Employees who got injured while breaking a safety rule or doing something else that their employer disapproves may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. For instance, if you got hurt while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while trying to hurt another person, you won’t qualify for benefits. You may also be ineligible to receive benefits if you got injured while you were engaged in horseplay. However, if your employer condoned that kind of behavior, it might be a different story.
Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are having trouble that your injury is work related, it may be a good idea to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney Washington D.C. residents trust. He or she has dealt with these kinds of situations in the past and will know if you qualify for benefits or not. If you do qualify, your lawyer can help you file a timely claim.
During your initial meeting with a workers’ compensation lawyer, be prepared to answer several questions about your case, such as where your injury took place what kind of injury you sustained. If you have any evidence, such as medical records or witness statements, bring them with you.
Many workers’ compensation lawyers offer free initial consultations, so there’s no risk to speaking to one.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for their insight into workers’ compensation.