Work-Related Injuries: Determining Workers Compensation Eligibility

Tony CanataWorkers Compensation

If you are injured while working at your job in Massachusetts, it is important to know what your rights are. You may be entitled to workers compensation depending on the situation.

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must show that you have an illness or injury that arises out of and in the course of your employment. In most instances, this fairly simple to do. A person injured at work while operating a forklift in his employer’s warehouse, for example, will have an injury that arose out of and in the course of his employment. But there are many times when the question is not so simple to answer. Workers compensation laws around this issue often become complicated questions of fact and law.

Some Not So Easy Cases

There are all kinds of situations in which a person’s injury is not easily identifiable as being work related. For example, if a worker is on her lunch break when she sustains an injury, is she entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? Will it make a difference if she is eating at the workplace cafeteria, a local restaurant or her desk? What if she is at a special event sponsored by her employer, like a Christmas party, a picnic or a softball game?   And how about injuries that an employee may sustain while traveling on business? Does it matter if you are en route to your destination, or are actually at the event that your employer has asked you to attend, or having a coffee with a friend after the work-related event? Or what about injuries from accidents while commuting to work? Does it make a difference if you are driving a company vehicle? Or if you slip and fall in a parking lot at work, or in a parking lot across the street from work where your employer has told you to park?

These are questions of fact and law that come up all the time in workers’ compensation claims in Massachusetts and across the country. Lawyers from trusted firms like The Law Offices of Terrence A. Low and Anthony J. Canata can listen to your specific circumstances and evaluate the likelihood that your injury is covered by workers’ compensation. Consult with a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney who can give you the appropriate guidance.

Sources:

Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?, NOLO

Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation After a Job-Related Accident, AllLaw