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How to Know You’re Hurt Enough to Claim Workers’ Compensation

You should file for workers’ compensation benefits immediately after being injured or diagnosed with a medical condition. The longer you delay, the greater the odds that your employer’s insurance carrier will have doubts and decide to deny your claim. In order to file, you must have been injured at work or during a job-related activity. Here’s how to determine whether your condition is severe enough to warrant benefits.

On the Job Accidents

Almost any injury that impacts your ability to work may entitle you to workers’ compensation. This can be anything from straining your back picking up a heavy box to falling from a scaffold. Injuries due to slippery surfaces or tripping over debris would also be covered. There may be gray areas, however. This relates to injuries caused while goofing off, violence, and particularly emotional stress. When you can’t work but your claim is rejected, contact a lawyer, such as those at Oxner + Permar, LLC, who specializes in workers’ compensation.

Job-Related Injuries

Injuries can also occur if you’re away from the company premises or job site, but still engaged in work or company-sponsored activities, such as purchasing or delivering supplies, cleaning up the area, or even twisting an ankle at the company picnic. The company is not liable for injuries sustained on your own time, such as commuting to or from work, or getting in an accident when you’ve gone out to lunch.

Medical Conditions

You can also develop chronic disorders related to your work that impact your ability to perform your duties or earn a living. These days, repetitive strain injuries (RSI) such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are common and warrant workers’ compensation. Other causes could include chemical fumes, airborne particle irritants, or exposure to known toxic or carcinogenic substances.

Your Own Negligence

Workers’ compensation is no-fault coverage. The above conditions apply even when the accident was due to your own carelessness. For instance, if you remove the safety rail from a machine and then get your hand injured, the company is still liable. In certain cases the company is not at fault. This is when the injury was self-inflicted, or you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

You should report any accidents immediately to your company in order to document the incident. Also make note of any witnesses who might support your case. Above all, see a doctor. If the physician concurs that you need time off to recover, you should file for benefits.

Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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