Q What kinds of injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation?
While most injuries suffered on the job will qualify for workers’ compensation, there are still some situations where your employer may not have to pay for the costs of your accident. Under workers’ compensation law, an employee’s injury must be suffered "inside the scope of employment." In a nutshell, this means that an injury sustained during normal, assigned job duties must be covered.
Here are a few cases where injuries may NOT be covered by workers’ compensation:
- Only first aid is required. If your injury is completely treated by the use of first-aid—such as bandages and analgesics—you will probably not need to file a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you work at a high end salon in Morristown and you cut your hand while replacing a blade, you likely will not be approved for workers’ compensation unless the cut is severe enough to require hospital treatment.
- Traveling to and from work. In most cases, if you are injured during your daily commute, you do not qualify for workers’ comp. Exceptions may apply for workers who are running work errands for an employer of have not left company property before the accident takes place.
- Injuries while on break. Many employees are told that they will not be covered for injuries that take place during lunch breaks, 10-minute breaks, or coffee and smoke breaks. However, many employees have won workers’ compensation for injuries that happened on break because they were still on company property, or were attending a work-related meeting—such as paid meetings where lunch is provided or talking business over coffee.
- Illegal activity. It can be extremely difficult to get workers’ compensation if you are injured while engaging in illegal or risky behavior at work. Horseplay, fights, safety violations, and alcohol or drug use may easily increase the risk of injury, and your claim may be denied if you are found to be at fault.
How to Determine If Your Injury Qualifies for Worker’s Compensation
Even if your employer has told you that your injury does not qualify for benefits, you should still consult with your doctor and an attorney to get a second opinion on your case. Click the contact link at the top of this page to find out how we can help, or check out our related links for more information.