No Delaware worker wants to end up injured as a result of work-related duties. Of course, you and any other worker could suffer injuries in almost any line of work. If you are involved in an on-the-job accident that leaves you injured, you may have numerous questions about what will happen next.
Your first priority should be to receive medical attention for any injuries you suffered. You may balk at the idea of going to the hospital at first because such visits can be costly, even with insurance, but receiving treatment is in your best interests. Fortunately, when it comes to handling the costs of that treatment, workers' compensation may be able to help.
Do you qualify?
Though many people rely on workers' comp to help after job-related injuries, it is not a guarantee you will receive benefits from this type of insurance. You may find yourself having to jump through hoops as you attempt to apply for benefits, and it may help you to know whether you could qualify. Some details to consider include the following:
- Workers' compensation only applies to individuals who are employees. If you fall into the category of an independent contractor, you will likely not qualify for workers' comp.
- Some types of workers also commonly remain excluded from eligibility, including agricultural workers, seasonal workers, nannies, caretakers and undocumented workers.
- It is also important that your injury actually occurred on the job or at a job-related function. If you suffered injuries before or after work or in a capacity completely unrelated to your job, you cannot claim workers' comp.
- In order to receive these benefits, your employer must have workers' comp insurance. Most businesses are required to carry this insurance but not all.
Obtaining workers' compensation benefits is more complicated than many people think. Investigations into the incident will likely take place, and you may need to provide evidence that you were not carrying out any unnecessarily risky behaviors that contributed to your injuries.
Working toward compensation
After a work-related accident, you undoubtedly want to focus on recovering from your injuries. It can be difficult to keep this focus when you have concerns about lost wages, medical bills and other hardships that may arise. Luckily, you could enlist the help of an attorney experienced in workers' comp claims who could help you with your application, answer any questions you may have and deal with any bumps that may come up in your case.