Workers’ compensation covers physical injuries which arise out of, and in the course of, your employment, and in some circumstances, mental health and stress disorders. For example, you are entitled to compensation for traumatic injuries such as burns, cuts, sprains, or fractures which result from an event at work, or nerve and joint problems which may result from repetitive motion.
You also are entitled to compensation for occupational diseases, for example, from long term exposure to certain hazardous conditions, such as hearing losses caused by noise exposure or lung disorders caused by exposure to chemicals. The workers’ compensation law allows compensation for mental health and stress disorders so long as the disorder is caused by the worker’s employment, is not due to good faith evaluation, discipline, termination or similar actions by the employer, and results in physical symptoms.
Workers’ compensation does not cover disabilities which solely are the result of the natural aging process or which are due to non-work related causes. Workers’ compensation benefits do cover pre-existing conditions to the extent the condition is aggravated by your employment. You may not recover for injuries that result from your own willful misconduct or from intoxication, or in some instances, from participation in athletic/recreation activities.
If you have any doubt as to whether you have a work related injury, please contact your local lawyer referral service to be connected with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney near you.