4 WAYS PROVING AN INJURY IS “WORK-RELATED” CAN BE CHALLENGING
Jan. 31, 2019
Injuries that you receive while at work are handled much differently than an injury you receive outside of work. It’s usually easier to receive benefits that compensate a “work-related” injury because you can file a claim through your company’s workers’ compensation insurance.
But, for some workers, their circumstances weren’t quite that cut-and-dry. Here are a few situations that might make it more challenging to prove an injury was work-related.
The internet now makes it possible for many workers to carry out the responsibilities of their job at home or otherwise outside of the organization’s office. However, if you’re injured while working from home, it can be more difficult to receive compensation.
For example, if you slipped and fell at work, workers compensation insurance keeps you from suing your business by compensating your injury. However, if you slip and fall while getting a snack at home, the incident can be isolated from work, meaning you’re unlikely to be compensated for it.
It’s also unlikely that witnesses will be around to back your injury claim if you are working outside of the office.
It can also be difficult to establish the connection between work and a slow-developing injury. This is because these types of injuries are gradual and can’t be attributed to one particular work-related incident.
Examples of this may include the gradual hearing loss of a truck driver or a production line worker. Injuries may also be delayed, such as asbestos poisoning, which doesn’t show any symptoms until many years after exposure to the material.
Injuries at Work Events
Compensating injuries from work events can also be a bit of a gray area to navigate. If a person’s job requires them to be at an event, such as an event coordinator, that person may receive compensation for an injury obtained at the event.
However, if your team goes on an outing or starts an intramural team, a resulting injury can only be compensated if your involvement in the event was made mandatory by your employer.
Injuries with Common Causes
It can be difficult to prove that an injury was caused by your work if the condition could have been caused by something else. For example, it could be easy for a production line worker to prove that a torn muscle was caused by the lifting required of him or her on the line. But, for an office worker, it will be very difficult to link arthritis in their hands to keyboard use. Arthritis could be caused by a number of other issues and may take many years to develop.
If you believe you have been injured in a way that is work-related, it’s important to notify your employer of the injury as soon as possible. Then, by contacting an attorney, you can get help proving that your injury is work-related so you can earn the compensation you deserve.