Both federal and state laws are in place that require all employers to have either workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured. If you are hurt or become ill as a result of your work, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including payment for medical bills and lost wages. However, under workers’ compensation protection, you then lose the right to file a lawsuit against your employer.
There are four basic eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation benefits.
You must be an employee.
Freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors are generally not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, volunteers usually aren’t entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
State laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance vary. Most states require any employer with at least one employee to have coverage, but some have a minimum of two to five employees.
You must have a work-related injury or illness.
Your injury or illness must have been a direct result of your work. Travel to and from business meetings and work-related education are considered to be in the course of one’s employment. However, injuries that occur during these periods may or may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
You must meet your state’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a claim.
A general rule of thumb is: the sooner, the better. Deadlines for reporting a work-related injury or illness vary depending on your state. If you do not file a claim within your state’s allotted amount of time, you may lose your chance to receive benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits can come in several forms, including weekly compensation benefits, permanent impairment benefits, payment of medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. It’s important to note that pain and suffering is not covered under any workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have been injured on the job and are in need of a personal injury lawyer, contact the Cochran Firm Philadelphia today for a free consultation at (800) 969-4400.