Workers’ compensation allows employees to collect compensation when injuries are sustained while the employee is on the job. Family members of workers who are killed on the job can even collect benefits that are meant to compensate the family for lost wages of the deceased employee. Understanding what’s covered by workers’ compensation is a key piece in receiving the benefits you deserve. The following will help you being to answer these questions, and you can always contact one of our attorneys at (215) 464-4600 for additional assistance.
Many employees believe that work-related injuries are only covered by workers’ compensation if they are sudden and unexpected in nature. While accidents such as falls are covered, gradual injuries that are the result of completing work tasks on a regular basis are also covered by workers’ compensation.
Workers who lift heavy boxes on a routine basis often find themselves struggling with back pain. A minimal amount of pain may gradually become a serious back injury over time. While this injury was occurring over a long period of time, treatment for a back injury related to work is covered.
Workers’ compensation benefits can be collected even if the employee is at fault in most cases. The court tends to view workers’ comp as a no-fault situation, but employees who are under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs while at work are typically not allowed to collect benefits if an injury is sustained.
Injuries do not have to occur at the workplace in order for a person to qualify for workers’ compensation. The employee must be injured while engaging in a work-related activity. Playing company sports, attending a function or traveling for business are all instances in a which an employee can sustain a work-related injury while outside of the workplace.
While employees are able to collect workers’ compensation when an injury is sustained at work, it is best to try to avoid becoming injured. Workplace injuries that are caused by repetitive movements can be avoided by stretching before work, taking breaks as necessary and asking for help from an employer when a job task is too physically demanding for you to do yourself.
Long-term illnesses that develop as a result of job tasks may be covered by workers’ compensation. However, an employee must be able to prove that their job was responsible for the illness. Lifestyle factors including family history of illness, hobbies and health risks will be assessed to determine whether an employee’s illness is related to the job.
Some employees are exposed to dangerous substances that are known to cause health problems. These illnesses may not manifest themselves for years, but former employees are still eligible to collect workers’ compensation if they can tie their illness to a work environment.
Stress-related illnesses such as heart disease may be covered by workers’ comp for people who work in high-stress jobs. Firefighters, police officers and emergency response workers are all at risk of developing heart conditions because of job-related stress.
Mental illness is also covered by workers’ compensation in some situations. Trauma in the workplace could lead to mental health conditions for some employees. Some people even develop depression when handling a stressful work environment on a daily basis.
Legal dependents of a worker who is killed in a work accident may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. However, most states have strict laws that dictate which family members may collect these benefits. Spouses and children can usually collect benefits, but other dependents may not be eligible. Consult an attorney for more information related to workers’ comp benefits following the death of a loved one.
Getting Help With Workers’ Compensation
Since it can be difficult for employees to determine whether their injury is covered under workers’ compensation, it is best to consult a professional law office for help. Experienced workers’ comp attorneys know how to collect information to prove that an injury is the result of a workplace accident.