You know that you have a dangerous job working in the construction industry. You constantly work around heavy machinery, you work at heights and you work with power tools. Accidents happen. You have seen people suffer serious and even life-threatening injuries.

That’s why you are happy that you have a safety net in the form of workers’ compensation. If you do get hurt on the job, at least you know that your medical bills and other costs will get taken care of. You have a family to support, after all. You need to know that a simple accident at work will not make that impossible.

With that in mind, it is important to consider some of the reasons why workers’ comp may get denied. Be sure you do not make a mistake that means you and your family do not get the coverage you want and need.

1. You already have a pre-existing condition

In some cases, you can get partial compensation if something that happens at work makes the injury or condition worse, but not always. If it turns out that the injury entirely happened outside of work and you did not get hurt on the job, you will not get coverage.

2. The activity was unrelated to your employment

For instance, you signed out at the job site and got in your car to drive home. On the way, you got into an accident. While many car accidents that happen while you are on the clock do count, something like this is generally not covered except in rare situations where your activities are still work-related.

3. You did not report the incident fast enough

As a general rule of thumb, you always want to go to your employer and file a report immediately. Do not put it off. Waiting too long jeopardizes your case because it appears less likely that the full injury was work-related. If you complain of back pain two years after getting hurt, for instance, it’s harder to get coverage than if you report a back injury the next day.

4. You did not give the doctor all of the details

Details are very important. Your employer needs to see that the incident happened at work, that you suffered injuries and that the medical treatment you got was for those specific injuries. While this may seem obvious to you, not providing or recording all of the details may make it harder to get workers’ compensation.

In a hazardous profession, it is important to understand all of the legal steps that you need to take after an injury. Make sure you know your rights as an employee and how to use them.