Different factors such as the nature of your injury, when it occurred, and where it happened can make it difficult to determine if your injury or illness falls under workers' compensation coverage. For example, injuries that occur during lunch breaks or travel can be interpreted differently by employers or insurance companies. The attorneys at Smith & Baltaxe, LLP in San Francisco, CA, are knowledgeable about statewide regulations and can help you determine whether you meet the workers’ compensation requirements to seek reimbursement through the workers’ compensation system when appropriate. To speak more about your case, schedule your free consultation online or call us at (415) 292-7800.
What You Need to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have been hurt in the workplace and are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, you must meet certain requirements. First, you will have to prove that the injury or illness was related to your job and that it occurred during the course of employment. This can be difficult to prove if you were hurt while away from the job site, while on break, or at a work function outside the office. A workers' compensation attorney knows what facts can help establish the cause of your injury, and will compile the necessary information to show that your injury is work-related.
Injuries that occurred while on break, traveling for work, or at a company event can still meet the requirements for workers' compensation.
Common Questions About What Qualifies as an On-the-Job Injury
When a worker falls from a ladder, is injured in an explosion, or loses a limb to a faulty piece of machinery, it is typically clear that the injury is work-related. But there are times when the circumstances of the injury are not quite as clear. Because proving that an illness or injury happened at work is critical to making a workers’ compensation claim, a lawyer can help you determine if you meet the requirements even if the circumstances of your injury are unclear. Common gray areas include:
Most injuries that occur during a break or during lunch are not considered job-related. An exception is when you are eating lunch on company property and are injured in an area that your employer is required to maintain in good condition.
Company picnics and holiday parties generally take place offsite, but that does not eliminate the possibility of an accident. An injury suffered while at a work function is generally considered a work-related injury.
Because many of us travel for work, the chances of being in an accident are high. If you are injured while driving for work, you can recover compensation if the travel meets certain legal requirements. California's “coming and going" rule and upholds that employees who suffer an injury while coming to work or going home from work cannot hold the employer responsible. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The most notable exception include when an employee:
- Drives a company car
- Is required to use a personal car for work purposes
- Is on a business trip for the employer
- Performs job duties on the road or while traveling
If your injury occurred under any of these circumstances, you could qualify for workers' compensation.
Illness, Cumulative Injuries, and Stress-Related Conditions
Some injuries and illnesses can take a long time to appear but are also covered by workers’ compensation. Carpal tunnel syndrome and certain illnesses contracted as a result of working with or near dangerous substances do not manifest overnight, but are the types of injuries suitable for a workers’ compensation claim.
Speak to Our Legal Team
Because there are many gray areas surrounding the requirements for filing a workers' compensation, you need a legal team that is familiar with workers' rights. Our attorneys can investigate your case to determine whether an injury is work-related and if you qualify for workers’ compensation. To review your case during a complimentary consultation, schedule an appointment online or call us at (415) 292-7800.