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Do I have to be seriously injured to receive workers' comp?

If you have been injured while at work and you are well enough to be reading this blog post, perhaps you feel truly lucky. Perhaps co-workers of yours perished in the same accident that led to your injuries. Or perhaps you are simply aware that the injuries you have suffered could have been much, much worse if the circumstances surrounding your accident had been only a little bit different. Maybe you are indeed very lucky. But your “luck” should not minimize in any way the harm you have suffered.

If you have been injured or made ill due to your working conditions or a work-related accident, you likely qualify for workers’ compensation. In general, you need not be injured in a serious or debilitating way in order to qualify for these benefits. Certainly, you wouldn’t apply for benefits after sustaining a paper cut while trying to fix a copier. However, even relatively minor legitimate injuries requiring medical treatment may qualify you for these benefits.

If an injury not only requires medical treatment but also impacts your ability to do your job, you should certainly consider applying for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits may cover your medical costs, rehabilitation costs, replacement income and other financial burdens associated with your injury. This calculus holds true even if you remain able to work part-time in the wake of your injury or illness.

The workers’ compensation system exists to aid workers like you who are injured while on the job. If you have been harmed on the job, there is no shame in applying for these benefits, even if you may consider your injury to be relatively minor.

Source: Findlaw Injured, “Workers' Comp Benefits: How Injured Do I Have to Be?” Daniel Taylor, Nov. 26, 2014

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