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Types of Injuries in Workers' Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a set of benefits available to employees who are injured on the job. Eligible employees are entitled to payment of medical bills and compensation for lost income if they are unable to work during their treatment and recovery. Many injured workers end up with some type of settlement at the end of their claim.
There are different types of work injuries. Some are one-time traumas, such as an equipment accident or a fall from a ladder. Often, but not always, these cases are easier to prove, at least when it comes to proving that the job caused the injury.
By contrast, repetitive stress injuries are injuries that occur over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. And occupational illnesses are conditions that develop from a hazard in the workplace, such as toxic fumes or other harmful substances. Although they can be more difficult to prove, these types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation in many cases.
Generally, an injury is considered work related if it occurs while you are performing your job duties. You don’t necessarily have to be at your workplace to be eligible. If you are running an errand for your boss, out of town for a meeting or at a work site, you should be covered for injuries that happen during that time. Sometimes injuries that occur off the clock are still covered if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer or if you’re on break while at work.
Sometimes, an injury is clearly work related, while other times it’s less clear and your employer (or their insurance company) will deny your benefits. If there is a dispute about benefits, an arbitrator, who acts like a judge for work injury claims, can hear your case and make a decision. It’s especially important to have an attorney represent you at this point in your case.
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