If you have been injured while at work in Missouri or Arkansas, but you are not sure whether you should file a workers compensation claim, it may help if you know the injuries not covered by workers compensation. Because every state has its own worker’s compensation laws, the whether a particular injury is covered or not will depend on the laws of the state where you work. However, there are certain circumstances, or types of injuries that are generally not covered.
An injury that can be said to have arisen “out of the course of employment” is typically covered under the worker’s compensation system. This term means that the injury occurred while you were performing the duties of your job, or the disease or illness was caused by conditions at your workplace. Not every injury or illness falls under those categories.
Minor injuries not covered by workers compensation
If you are injured at work, and that injury can be sufficiently treated with a first-aid kit, for example, then the injury you sustained is not severe enough to be covered under worker’s compensation. This usually means, scrapes, small cuts or wounds are injuries not covered by worker’s compensation.
Injuries Outside the Scope of Employment
Even if you are injured somewhere outside of your usual workplace, your injury may still be covered. If you were acting within the “course and scope” of your employment, meaning your actions fall within your job duties (i.e., carrying out the business you are required to do), you are still covered under workers’ compensation system.
However, if you are injured while commuting, with few exceptions, your injury will not be considered to have occurred in the course of your employment. Likewise, when you are on a break or at lunch, even if in the workplace, your injury will not likely be covered. Also, if you are engaged in activities that violate a company policy, even if on your employer’s premises, you will not be covered. For example, horseplaying with co-workers in the warehouse or injuries sustained while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are injuries not covered by worker’s compensation.
Occupational or Cummulative Diseases
There are several conditions and diseases that can give rise to a worker’s compensation claim that are not the result of a single incident or injury. For instance, conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or respiratory conditions, caused by repeated chemical exposure are very common workers’ compensation claims. The difference in these claims is that the conditions arise over time due to repeated incidents or exposure at work.
If you are not sure whether your condition could be a result of your activities at work, bring your concerns to the attention of your doctor. He or she will be able to evaluate the potential causes of your condition or disease.
If you have questions regarding worker’s compensation claims, or any other personal injury concerns in Missouri or Arkansas, please contact the Cottrell Law Office by calling us at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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