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What is Considered an On the Job Illness, Injury, or Death?

Injuries and illnesses that result from one’s job duties can be serious. They can have a significant impact on the employee’s life and cause a lot of stress, particularly as it relates to his or her health and well-being. But, what exactly is considered a work-related injury or illness and when are they covered by workers’ comp?

Compensation and Coverage

The law is clear that compensable injuries and illnesses are those that “arise out of” and “in the course of” employment. Both elements must be present, but what do they mean? When you are wondering whether your injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation, here are some factors to consider:

  • Aggravation of a pre-existing condition: An aggravation of a pre-existing condition is covered by workers’ compensation, and as long as the aggravation continues the injured employee will be entitled to income and/or medical benefits.

  • Deviation from job duties: Did you take a lunch break or go off-site on a purely personal errand? If you were injured during a time like this, you are probably not covered by workers’ compensation. However, these cases are fact-specific so contact one of our attorneys to discuss your case.

  • Commute to work: As a general rule, injuries that occur during travel to or from work, whether by bus, car, train, plane, etc., are not covered by workers’ comp. However, there are a number of exceptions to the general rule so it is important to speak with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys regarding the specifics of your case.

  • Willful misconduct: How you conduct yourself on the job, or in some cases before arriving at work, has a big impact on whether your case will be covered. If your injury is the result of a fight you started, because you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while you were engaged in “horseplay,” or during the commission of a crime, you could very likely find yourself without workers’ comp coverage.

These are just a few of the factors to consider when determining whether an injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation. In order to truly understand what is covered, the best approach is to contact an experienced attorney who knows the law on workers’ compensation and how the legal system operates.

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