If you have been hurt in an accident at work, you might be wondering if your injury qualifies as “work-related.”

Work-related injuries qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, which can cover not only your medical bills but also lost wages, rehabilitation costs and other related expenses. Generally, an injury is considered work-related if the employee sustained it while doing something on behalf of an employer.

If you or someone you love suffered a work-related accident, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Niemeyer, Grebel & Kruse can help. Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your specific case and determine if you are eligible to receive benefits.

What is a work-related injury?

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, a work-related injury is an injury or illness that someone sustains while doing something on behalf of an employer.

It’s for this reason that most injuries at the workplace qualify as work-related, and many that happen outside of the job site or office also qualify, as long as the staff member was doing something relating to the responsibilities of their job.

For example, if a company decides to host its Christmas party at an offsite venue, this event would be considered work-related and any reported injuries from the event could be covered under workers’ comp.

However, if staff members go offsite for lunch or drinks after work, because this isn’t a company-sponsored function, they wouldn’t be eligible for workers’ comp if one of them is injured.

Types of work-related injuries

These injuries fall into categories: 1) physical injuries, 2) repetitive stress injuries, and 3) occupational injuries.

Physical injuries

Physical injuries are the most common type of work-related injury. They are the result of:

  • The employee’s own work – For example, injuring their back lifting an item or touching a hot surface while cooking
  • Injuries caused by someone else’s actions – Being hit by workplace machinery
  • General workplace accidents – Trips, falls and slips

These accidents often require immediate medical attention and can result in:

  • Lacerations, bruises and fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Burns, cuts and scrapes
  • Wrongful death

Repetitive stress injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are caused by repeated motions or use of the same muscles for extended periods. These include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and trigger finger.

If your role requires you to repeat the same motion over and over, you may be at risk of a repetitive stress injury.

Occupational illnesses

An occupational illness is an illness that develops due to work conditions, such as exposure to hazardous chemicals or materials. It could also be a psychological injury, like post-traumatic stress disorder, which can result from traumatic events at work.

These illnesses can have long-term health implications, so it’s important that they are diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

If I’m injured while commuting, is that a ‘work-related injury’?

Commuting is typically considered to happen on the worker’s own time, so injuries from a car accident on the way to or from work aren’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits.

However, if the commute was work-related (i.e. driving a company car or vehicle on behalf of an employer), then injuries would be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Is it possible to sustain a non-work injury while physically at work?

Yes, it is possible. If an employee gets injured while not doing work-related activities but instead engaging in activities on the work premises that weren’t sanctioned or approved by their employer, then this would not be considered work related.

For example, if an employee injures themselves while using a work forklift for an unsanctioned activity, then their medical expenses will not be covered by workers’ comp.

Talk with experienced attorneys about your workers’ compensation claim

If you have been injured at work or have a loved one who has, it’s important to understand your rights and the benefits that you may be eligible for.

The experienced attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse can help. We are dedicated to helping our clients get the medical care they need and the compensation they deserve.

Call us today at 314-241-1919 for more information about workers’ compensation in Missouri.


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