Law Offices of Ainbinder & Pratt
Is Workers’ Compensation Only For On-the-Job Injuries?
When you’re injured on the job in or around Long Beach or anywhere in the state of California, you may be entitled to what is called workers’ compensation. In the state of California, the Workers’ Compensation Act requires all companies carry workers' compensation insurance. If you’re hurt on the job, that insurance will likely pay for expenses such as medical bills, wages lost while recovering, disability, and more.
You may be wondering if you weren’t technically injured on the job, can you still receive benefits through workers’ compensation? The short answer is “possibly, depending on your situation.” Our knowledgeable workers' compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Ainbinder & Pratt have the answers you’re looking for to help you determine your eligibility.
Types of Workplace Injuries
A common misconception with workplace injuries leads people to believe that suffering from traditional physical injuries is the only way you can be eligible for compensation. Although those make up the majority of workers’ compensation claims, there are other categories of injuries that you can sustain related to your job.
Traditional Physical Injuries
The most common injuries that people experience include slip-and-falls, muscle strains, broken or amputated limbs, and torn rotator cuffs. These injuries can cause an employee to stay home from work, which can make you eligible for temporary disability benefits.
While traditional physical injuries occur quickly and suddenly, occupational illnesses can be formed over a period of time. Examples include Mesothelioma caused by asbestos, other forms of cancer, or repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
Psychiatric and Emotional Injuries
There are two common causes of emotional stress one can suffer at work: general workplace conditions and traumatic incidents. The former can cause depression or stress, while the latter can cause PTSD for someone who was harassed or assaulted.
Injuries on Break, at Company Events, or While Traveling
Califonia’s Labor Code 3600(a)(2) explains that an injury can qualify for reimbursement as long as you were “performing service growing out of and incidental to his or her employment and is acting within the course of his or her employment.” If you’re technically being paid on your lunch break and/or are doing work-related activities while on lunch, you could qualify for workers’ compensation.
If you sprained your ankle while playing volleyball at a company picnic, for example, you may be entitled to compensation — depending on the nature of the event, whether it took place on company property, and other factors.
Your work may require you to travel, which also heightens your chances of work-related injuries. In the event you were injured while traveling for work, a major determining factor for eligibility is what you were doing at the time of the incident, whether you were going to a job-related meeting or taking a detour to pick up a cup of coffee.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys That Can Bring You Clarity
Because there are so many factors to consider for a workers’ compensation claim, you need to hire an experienced attorney that can help you build a convincing case. Our Long Beach, California workers' compensation attorneys have extensive experience with those who have suffered a work-related injury, so their keen awareness within the field can be a valuable resource to you and your case. We proudly serve the Long Beach, California area, including Los Angeles, Riverside, and Ventura counties.