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What if my employer claims my injury is not work-related?

The concept of workers' compensation insurance is one that is thrown around in conversation or mentioned on television regularly, but not all workers properly understand it, especially when it comes time to file a claim. If you have concerns about a workers' compensation claim, or if your employer balks at covering an on-the-job injury, you can take steps to understand and protect your rights as a worker.

The first thing to determine is whether or not your injury is work-related. In some cases, this is easy to assess, but not always. For instance, an injury may be work-related if you were operating in your job's capacity when the injury occurred, even if you weren't technically at your workplace. For instance, if you were driving or riding in a work vehicle when you experienced a car accident, this is generally considered compensable under workers' compensation.

Other issues that often complicate workers' compensation claims involve the nature of the injury and how it occurred. For instance, an employee may not readily approve a workers' compensation claim arising from mental injuries, such as depression brought on by your work. Similarly, if you and another employee are simply messing around at work and you suffer an injury, your employer may claim that your injury was not work related because you were literally not working. In each of these scenarios, the details are everything.

If you have a non-traditional workplace injury, it is very likely that your employer or your employer's insurer will push back against the claim. In these cases, it is wise to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. When in doubt, many employers and insurers deny claims, so you may have to fight for fair treatment, and this is often much more effective with the careful guidance of a legal professional. An attorney can help you examine all the factors at play in your injury and build a strong case for full, fair compensation, while protecting your rights as a worker in the process.

Source: Findlaw, "What Types of Injuries are Compensable Under Workers' Compensation?," accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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