Determining Whether Your Injury is Work Related or Not
As a general rule if you have been injured or became ill while performing a task designated by your employer, you can claim benefits under worker’s compensation as long as the eligibility conditions are met. Generally the situations can be designated as work-related or not, however, there exist certain gray areas which are not as clear. Consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney immediately after a workplace accident or injury is advisable. Your attorney can help you determine what you are entitled to under Missouri workers' compensation. Some of the scenarios or situations are discussed in the following paragraphs. It is important to note, however, that every situation is unique and should be treated as such.
Lunch Breaks: If you’ve were injured while out for lunch at a deli during lunch break, or you have gone to fetch lunch for your co-workers you generally cannot claim workers' compensation. However, if you have gone to fetch lunch for your boss or employer or you’ve got injured during lunch in the company’s cafeteria you may have a valid claim for compensation.
Company Events: Injuries sustained during company events like picnics, parties, baseball games, etc. are often covered under workers' compensation.
Travel: The injuries sustained while traveling to your workplace will typically not be covered unless you have been traveling in a company provided vehicle. In case you travel offsite for work the injuries incurred during such travel will most likely be covered.
Pre-existing Conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition and the job that you perform for your employer has in some manner exaggerated the condition, you can claim worker’s compensation. This clause is applicable in case you have had a condition of disc-rupture and have recovered from the same. However, at your workplace, you have been made to lift heavy load which caused the re-occurrence of the disc problem.
Hearing Loss: People working in extremely noisy environments, like construction sites, manufacturing plants, steel industry, etc. are prone to suffer from hearing impairment. This hearing loss is covered under the workers’ compensation claim.
Mental Condition: Mental illnesses arising due to workplace conditions may be covered by workers’ compensation. The trauma caused by witnessing the injury or death of a co-worker is compensable. The mental-stress arising due to stressful working conditions are also compensated. It is difficult to determine or prove whether the mental condition has been caused by workplace circumstances or not. Hence, it is advisable to contact an attorney to evaluate your case prior to filing claim.
Disease and Illnesses: If the workplace environment is polluted with chemicals or substances, which result in diseases or illnesses, you can file for worker’s compensation. This is particularly applicable to people who inhale asbestos, coal dust, etc. while at work which result in asbestosis and various lung diseases.
If you are an injured Missouri worker, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann for more information regarding your rights under Missouri workers' compensation. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free and private consultation.
Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer