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Worker's compensation -- Are you covered?

Workers' compensation insurance covers most Minnesota workers. However, some workers may not be covered by workers' compensation in certain states, including independent contractors, domestic workers and farm workers. For those employees who are covered, this insurance policy can provide the necessary medical care and replace lost income after a serious work-related illness or injury.

To determine whether a workplace injury or illness is covered, the employer's workers' compensation insurance company must know where and how it occurred. The accident does not have to have happened at the work site. Employees may be covered if they are injured while traveling on company business. Some cases are clearer than others are, such as if an employee has a slip-and-fall accident and hurts his or her leg on the factory floor. Other injuries and illnesses are less clear, such as a pre-existing condition that worsens due to conditions in the workplace.

Accidents don't even have to happen while the employee is on the clock for the worker to file a workers' compensation claim. Injuries that occur in the break room during an employee's lunch hour as well as those that happen after hours at a work-sponsored event may be covered by the company's workers' compensation policy.

In some cases, it is not clear whether a worker's injury should be covered by workers' compensation insurance. A lawyer who is familiar with the workers' compensation system may advocate on behalf of a worker to get them the benefits that they need to recover from their injuries. This may include filing the proper paperwork in a timely manner or appealing a denial of benefits.

Source: findlaw.com, "What Types of Injuries are Compensable Under Workers' Compensation? ", September 04, 2014

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