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What types of injuries does workers' compensation cover?

When an employee is injured on the job, that person may endure more hardship than the physical injury itself. Lost work time in addition to increasing medical expenses can result in a lot of uncertainty and fear about making ends meet during healing time.

Many employers are required to have insurance for situations such as these. Workers' compensation insurance can help employees recover sudden expenses like lost wages, medical expenses or other accommodations they require. Not all injuries can qualify for this type of assistance, however.

In order for an injury to be covered under the employer's insurance, it must be work-related. Many work-related injuries occur at the workplace itself, however that is not a requirement. To qualify as work-related, the injury must have occurred while someone was completing a task on the person's employer's behalf or in the regular course of the person's employment. This includes grievances arising from use of company-owned trucks or performing work responsibilities at other job sites. Often, coverage may even be extended to include company-sponsored social events, even if they occur off of company owned property. Claims may also be brought for the worsening of an employee's preexisting condition.

However, even if an injury occurred at the workplace, it may or may not qualify under workers' compensation. Some states do not allow claims that arise from employee conduct that disregarded workplace safety rules. Additionally, some injuries occurring over lunch breaks may or may not be covered. If the injury came about as the result of a work-related meeting or on work grounds, the chances of receiving compensation are greater.

An injured worker generally has many worries that encompass more than the injury itself. Rising expenses and lack of work time to compensate may make the healing process even harder than it would have been already. Workers' compensation benefits may be able to help alleviate some of the additional financial stresses and allow an employee to focus on healing instead.

Source: FindLaw, "What Types of Injuries are Compensable Under Workers' Compensation?," accessed Aug. 11, 2014

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