Workers’ Comp: These Injuries and Illnesses May Not Be Covered

Injuries that occur outside the course of your employment won’t be covered by a workers’ compensation claim, even if they happened while you were on your way to work, on break, and sometimes even on your job site itself. Invisible wounds, such as mental health problems that may have arisen during your course of work, also are not typically compensated by a workman’s comp claim. Knowing what types of claims don’t typically hold up can help you as you file your own.

What Counts as a Workers’ Comp Claim?

An injury that qualifies as a worker’s comp claim typically has to pass two hurdles. Firstly, it needs to occur “course and scope of your employment.” Secondly, the injury must typically require more than the available first aid to address. However, when someone does bring a worker’s comp claim to a court, so long as those two conditions are met, judges often rule favorably for the filing worker. However, some types of claims will have a hard time getting acceptance from a judge, such as the following:

Injuries that Occurred Off-Site

If you are injured off the premises of your work, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be compensated through a workers’ comp claim. The exception to this is if you were away from your worksite on official business for your work, such as running an errand or picking up snacks after your boss requested you to. If you’re injured off-site on your break or while commuting to and from work, then you will likely not qualify to file a claim.

Some On-Site Injuries

Simply being on your worksite and suffering an injury is not enough to warrant a workers’ comp claim. Some types of injuries you might experience at your worksite won’t typically be covered by a compensation claim due to the following causes:

  • Horseplay
  • Substance abuse
  • Illegal activities
  • Violating company policy

While it’s possible your claim may still be recognized in any of the above instances, it is unlikely. A lawyer specializing in work injuries can be your guide to this process.

Mental Health Claims

Everyone’s job can be stressful, but for some people, this elevates to the level of a workplace hazard. If your job has left you with mental health scars, such as elevated levels of anxiety, stress, or even PTSD, you might think of filing a workers’ comp claim against the employer who you hold responsible. Unfortunately, many states limit the ability of workers to collect compensation for these sorts of claims. It’s highly unlikely that it will be accepted by a court should you file one.

Cumulative Injuries

Repetitive injuries can build up slowly over a period of years and can cause lasting damage by the time you notice them. If your job requires you to do it, such as through typing, operating an assembly line, or lifting heavy loads in the same manner, you might wonder if you qualify. However, you’ll need to be able to prove that the injury came from your employer. This can be difficult to establish, especially if your employer can argue that your injury was pre-existing, making it possible your claim will be denied.

Bottom Line

If you’re injured on the job, you want to pursue your right to worker’s compensation benefits. However, you may face lawyers from your employer who try to argue that your claim isn’t covered under the law. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re unsure if you have a legitimate worker’s compensation claim, contact an experienced work injury lawyer to handle your case. It can make all the difference to your life and could be just what you need to successfully obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled.