How do I know if my injury is covered by workers’ compensation?

If you’re working as an employee — not a contractor — for a company in Charlotte, and you suffer an injury on the job, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical care and time spent unable to work.

However, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer might not approve a claim for benefits in all cases. As such, it’s important to know what your rights are — so you can decide whether it’s worth it to challenge a denial of benefits.

Was your injury work related?

Probably the most relevant reason for a denial of workers’ compensation benefits is the argument that your injuries weren’t work related. For example, imagine you were lifting heavy boxes at work, and you hurt your back, but you had back surgery for a similar problem five years ago. The insurance company might try to argue that you had a prior non-work-related injury and thereby refuse to award you compensation.

In some cases of previous injuries, you can receive an award of partial compensation if your current job served to worsen a pre-existing condition. Workers will need to show that their injuries or illnesses were the result — or partly the result — of their work-related activities.

As long as the injury or illness happened in the course and scope of employment, the injury does not have to occur on the physical grounds of your workplace. You could be driving in town carrying out your job responsibilities and get hurt in a car accident and receive workers’ compensation benefits. It might even be work related if you got hurt while drunk at a company party.

Don’t accept a denial of benefits at face value

The insurance company might seem to have a good reason to deny you workers’ compensation benefits. However, don’t accept the insurance company’s determination until you have performed a thorough review of the extent of your injuries, the circumstances under which they happened, and the laws that apply to your situation.

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