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I Wasn't Injured at Work. Do I Qualify for a Workers' Compensation Case?
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I Wasn't Injured at Work. Do I Qualify for a Workers' Compensation Case?

If you have been hurt at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, “getting hurt at work” does not necessarily mean that you get hurt while at your employer’s headquarters or on a company sales floor. Let’s take a closer look at what workers’ compensation is, what it covers and whether you could qualify for compensation.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a system that allows employers and workers to settle cases quickly. Instead of an employee going to court and possibly losing an injury case or an employer potentially paying more than he or she could afford, a uniform system was created to address such matters.

This system is sometimes referred to as the compensation bargain. Employees can generally expect to receive a portion of their salaries as well as some or all of their medical and other expenses covered while they are out of work.

In the United States, a state may have its own system while the federal government also has a compensation system. In some states, employers may opt out of the traditional system and provide their own replacement method of providing compensation to those who are hurt through the course of their employment.

Injuries That Could Lead to Claims

Almost any injury could lead to a claim depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Generally, a worker is entitled to immediate reimbursement of any medical costs related to an injury. This could be the cost of seeing a doctor, having surgery or any other medical procedure needed to fix any ailment caused as a result of the employee doing their job. In theory, a worker could file a claim for something as minor as a cut or scrape or as significant as a traumatic brain injury or a lost limb.

Prevalence of Injuries on the Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,157,410 injuries or illnesses that required workers to miss time at work in 2014. In addition, there were 4,679 deaths that occurred through the course of employment in that same year. Those who work at nursing facilities, as well as those who work in the meat industry, were among the most likely to get hurt at work.

Your Injury Doesn’t Have to Be at Work

There are several scenarios in which you could file for workers’ compensation even if you are not hurt while actually at work. For instance, if you got hurt while working at home, you would qualify for compensation if the injury occurred while performing a task for an employer. This could include answering a business phone line or even slipping in your driveway waiting for a delivery from a client. You could also qualify for compensation if you are hurt or get sick while on a business trip. For example, if you got sick while eating fish at a business dinner with a client, that would qualify as getting sick through the course of employment.

If you think that you cannot get compensation from your employer because you were not actually hurt at work, you may be wrong. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury or illness, your employer may be responsible for paying your medical bills as well as replacing some or all of your salary for time spent out of work.

What to Do Next

If you have sustained an injury and are not sure about what to do next, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Tate Law Group in Savannah, GA for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you figure out the best way to move forward after an injury.

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