You were recently injured while working. As a result, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that would help cover medical expenses and lost wages.
Unfortunately, many injured workers are denied workers’ compensation benefits. Here are a few reasons your benefits could be denied:
1. Your injury happened outside of work
One thing to remember when filing a workers’ compensation claim is that your injuries must have happened while working. If you were driving to work and suffered an accident, for example, then you may not be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. But, if you were driving a work vehicle when you were in an accident, then you may be eligible for benefits.
Furthermore, an employer may claim that you suffered injuries outside of work if you don’t report your injuries following the accident.
2. Your injuries were pre-existing
Similarly, you may not get any workers’ comp benefits if you suffered an injury or developed a medical condition before your employment. An insurance company may state that your injuries were the result of an accident you suffered before your employment. But, sometimes a previous accident had no relation to current injuries — and old injuries that are aggravated by workplace activity may still be eligible for compensation.
3. Your injuries were alcohol or drug-relate
Drug and alcohol use is generally prohibited in workplaces. If you were using drugs or alcohol when you suffered your injuries, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. An employer may request that you get tested for drugs or alcohol following an accident to prove whether you were under the influence when you were injured.
4. You didn’t seek medical treatment
After a workplace injury, you should seek medical treatment to get a report on your injuries. This report would be used to prove that your injuries are serious enough to warrant compensation benefits. Typically, companies require injured workers to seek specific doctors or medical professionals to report injuries. If you seek another medical professional to evaluate your injuries, you may not be eligible for benefits.
If you’re denied workers’ compensation benefits, then you may need to act fast and learn your legal rights. You can appeal a workers’ compensation denial if you believe you deserve compensation.