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4 common questions about work-related injuries

Getting hurt on the job can have a significant impact on both your ability to do your work and on your day-to-day life. There can be assistance available, however. If your injury or illness is work-related, you likely qualify for workers' comp, as long as you meet the other requirements. Although it might seem simple for an injury or illness to be work-related, there are gray areas. If you are wondering whether your injury or illness qualifies you for workers' compensation benefits, keep reading below for answers of common questions.

1. Does a lunch break injury count?

Injuries and illnesses sustained during a lunch break are treated differently depending on the details. For example, if you go to a café and sprain your ankle, you are probably not covered. However, if your boss told you to pick up lunch, you might be eligible. If the injury occurred at the company cafeteria, then you might be covered, as eating on the premises is beneficial for your employer.

2. What if I got injured while traveling for work?

If you are on a business trip and get injured, you will likely be eligible for benefits. Or if you are driving a company vehicle or traveling as a salesperson without a set worksite, your injuries will likely be covered. Getting injured during your regular commute in your own car, however, will likely not make you eligible for workers' compensation.

3. What about getting injured at a company event?

Sometimes companies sponsor parties, picnics or sports games. If you get injured at a company-sponsored event like this, you are probably eligible for workers' compensation benefits. For example, if you get injured while dancing at a company party, you may be able to file a claim.

4. What if there was a third party involved?

Injuries are sometimes caused by third parties while you are on the job. If your employer or coworkers are not responsible, you are not eligible for workers' compensation but can bring a personal injury claim against the third party. Some common scenarios include faulty ladders or oil spills caused by vendors. If your injury does not qualify you for workers' compensation but a third party might be involved, you can get compensated through a personal injury claim.

There are several details that make the workers' compensation process confusing for many people. With all the nuances of the eligibility requirements, some injured workers are deterred from seeking compensation. However, with the right guidance, it is possible to understand the process and know your options. If you sustained an injury or illness at your job, consult an attorney to examine your eligibility and chart your course of action.

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