Workers Compensation Is A Field In Which Precedent Is Key

Each state treats Workers’ Comp slightly differently, but there are commonalities across state lines. Here are eight points about workers’ comp claims that may be unfamiliar.

  1. A Company Only Needs One Employee to Call for Workers’ Comp Insurance

Some people think that workers compensation insurance is something only large companies need to buy. However, even companies with a single employee are usually required to pay for workers compensation insurance. Particularly in industries like construction or roofing, this insurance is essential for the company to file taxes.

  1. Independent Contractors Do Not Qualify for Workers Comp

If the IRS finds that an independent contractor should really be classified as an employee — that he or she has been covered under a 1099 but in actuality should qualify for a W-2 form — then the employer could face added taxes or criminal liability. Just because an employee is covered under a 1099 form does not mean that said employee should not qualify for workers compensation coverage.

  1. If the Accident Happened on Break, You May Not Be Not Covered

This is an unusual aspect of workers’ compensation. If you are on break and sustain an injury at work — even if you are on company property — you may not be covered. Ohio law regarding these types of injuries is constantly evolving. To find out if your accident should be covered, call today.

  1. If You Are On a Business Trip, You May Be Covered

If you are traveling for your job, certain aspects of your trip may be covered under workers’ compensation. Your time on the plane to and from your travel destination, your time at the hotel, your time driving while on location, all have different rules associated with whether or not your injury constitutes a valid workers’ comp claim. Workers compensation may even cover you if you are running an errand for your employer as well.

  1. Company-sponsored Events Count

Let’s say your company hosts an annual holiday party. Or let’s say your team has a bowling party to celebrate your sales people making their quarterly quotas. Injuries which occur while you or other employees are at those events may be eligible for a workers compensation coverage, depending on the circumstances.

  1. Texas Does Not Require Companies to Have Workers Comp Insurance

It is a bit of an anomaly, but the Lone Star State has no requirements for employers to have workers compensation insurance. That is not to say that companies headquartered in Texas do not carry such insurance — the majority certainly do — but such coverage is not enforced under state law. This is different from the other 49 states in the United States.

  1. Return-to-work programs help lower workers’ comp premiums

Some companies have implemented programs called “return-to-work,” which can lower the number of days injured employees lose from job-related illnesses or injuries. Such programs make for more productive work environments, and reduce the amount of workers comp payments an average case would call for. Health and wellness programs also reduce workers’ comp premiums, as they reduce the number of claims filed — as well as the severity of those claims.

  1. Even If the Injury Was Partly Your Fault, You May Still Be Eligible for Claims

If an injury happened while on the job, in the course of and arising out of the scope of employment, this injury can qualify for workers comp coverage. Even if the injury was due in part to your carelessness or a mistake in carrying out the job duties, such an occurrence can qualify for workers comp liability coverage. The only times in which the employee’s actions immediately disqualify him or her from workers comp coverage are if alcohol or drugs were are directly responsible for causing the accident.