Is Your Illness or Injury Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation provides benefits for workers who are injured, become ill, or die on the job. Here’s a look at what injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ compensation:

Injuries — As long as the injury occurred in the course of employment, it is covered by workers’ compensation. Many types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. It can be a sudden accident such as a fall or it could be an injury caused by repeated physical motion, like typing or back strain from lifting heavy equipment. Physical conditions that are aggravated by the workplace are also covered. An example of this type of injury occurs when asthma is made worse by breathing poor quality air or airborne chemicals in the office. Sometimes, psychological stress caused by the job can be covered.

Workers’ compensation typically is a “no-fault” system, so it doesn’t matter if the worker was injured because he or she was careless. However, workers who were injured because of their own drinking, drug use, fighting, deliberate reckless acts, or willful negligence may not be able to receive workers’ compensation.

Illnesses — An illness is covered under workers’ compensation when the nature of the job increases the worker’s chances of suffering from that illness. There must be a clear connection between the job and the illness, however, and investigators will examine the employee’s other health factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, and general activities that may aggravate the health condition.

Death — Close dependents (usually a spouse, child, parent, or siblings) of a worker who is killed on the job or who dies because of a work related injury or illness can usually collect workers’ compensation benefits. The relatives, however, have to be financially dependent on the worker in order to recover.

If you have questions about whether your illness or injury is covered by workers’ compensation, contact an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer to learn more.