Every worker, regardless of age and industry, can be the victim of a workplace accident or suffer work-related injuries. From a construction worker who falls while scaling scaffolding to a nurse who suffers a back injury while helping lift a patient, a work-related injury can seriously and adversely impact an individual's life in a number of ways.
Mounting medical bills, time away from work and painful and debilitating injuries are just a few examples of the financial and personal drawbacks commonly associated with workplace injuries. In most cases, injured workers are able to file for workers' compensation benefits. However, in order the qualify for such benefits, there are strict requirements that must be met.
In cases where a worker informs an employer of a work-related injury, he or she must be prepared to answer questions related to where and how the injury occurred. The answers to these questions will help determine whether or not an individual is eligible to receive worker's compensation benefits.
In cases where an individual suffers injuries while on an employer’s premise and performing work-related duties, he or she should qualify for workers' compensation benefits. However, if an injury occurs while an individual is on lunch break or on his or her way home from a holiday party, an employer may dispute that an injury is work-related.
Likewise, employers and insurance companies frequently deny claims for workers compensation benefits on the basis that a worker's injury stemmed from a pre-existing condition. For example, an individual may not even know that he or she has a degenerative back injury until suffering a back injury at work. However, an employer or insurance company may contend that such an injury was pre-existing and therefore not covered under workers' compensation.
There are many reasons why an employer or insurance company may deny an injured worker's claim for benefits. For these reasons, it's important to contact an attorney who handles workers' compensation and can assist in helping secure benefits.
Source: FindLaw.com, "I Have a Job-Related Injury: What are My Employer’s Responsibilities?," Nov. 3, 2015