In order to make a claim under workers’ compensation, your injury must be work-related. However, the classification of a workplace injury can get confusing.
There are a few important factors that will help you determine if your injury is an eligible workplace injury.
During the course of work
Your injury must have happened while you were doing your regular work duties. You need to have been doing something under the direction of your employer. For example, smashing your finger while operating a machine as part of your job meets this criterion. Falling in the parking lot while jogging on your lunch break likely does not qualify.
In your work environment
The injury must also happen within your work environment. This can be tricky because you may have to travel for your job to different locations. Generally, if you are on the clock and doing duties that are part of your assigned work, then wherever you are becomes the work environment. You do not necessarily have to be in your usual workspace as long as you are doing work duties.
A note about illnesses
Illnesses are trickier than injuries because they do not happen after one incident. They occur after repeated exposure. Despite this, you still have to show the illness is a result of conducting your work duties within your workspace. You may have more of a burden of proof with illnesses to show through medical evidence it is work-related.
To make a valid workers’ compensation claim, you have to make sure the injury or illness you suffer is a direct result of doing your job.