Workers' Compensation Coverage: What Hurt Workers Can Expect

In most cases, workers that are hurt in a work accident are covered by their employer's workers' compensation insurance. This sort of insurance provides workers that qualify with benefits that include medical expense payments, partial lost wages, and more. Some injuries, though, fall into a grey area and may or may not be covered. Find out more below.

Are Illnesses Covered?

While workers' comp is known for its coverage of accidents, it also covers occupational illnesses in many cases. These forms of illness must be related to work conditions, however. Some common illnesses that are covered include those from toxic substance exposure, sick building syndrome, and more. What is not usually covered, though, are things like catching an illness from a coworker. While this issue rose to the forefront during the COVID19 situation, being exposed to people with a virus is currently not covered by workers' compensation policies.

Traveling for Work

Certain injuries may be covered when working away from the work campus. In general, you should be covered for any accidents while away. That usually includes overnight stays on business, travel to conferences or to take classes, meeting with clients, and more. Accidents while driving your own vehicle, however, are not usually covered—only those involving work vehicles.

Fun Away from Work

It's become common for many businesses to offer employees the opportunity to mingle with coworkers off-site. Company picnics, parties, softball games, trips to amusement parks, and so on may cause an employee to get hurt. Workers' compensation may only cover situations in which the employee was expected to attend the activity. If you are hurt during such an event, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer to find out if you are covered.

Psychological Damage

Unfortunately, many workers are exposed to traumatic events while doing their jobs. In many cases, workers can be paid for the mental anguish they experienced while at work. However, the exact circumstances matter. If the issue, or even the physical injury, was the result of a personal confrontation between co-workers, the insurer may not cover it. Additionally, if the worker's job involved trauma daily, such as those working in law enforcement, emergency personnel, and so forth, any mental trauma damage may not be covered because it's the nature of the job and should be expected.

However, many workers' compensation insurers are beginning to address physical issues associated with stressful job situations. For instance, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other maladies can have stress as their root cause.

If the workers' compensation insurer has denied your claim, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer. You don't need to accept a denial as the final decision and your lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

For more information, contact local lawyers like those from Williams & Swee.