Workers’ compensation insurance exists solely for the purpose of protecting businesses and their employees from the backlash that comes with workplace injuries. In other words, if you get hurt on the job, your employer’s insurance should help you cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses caused by the accident.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
When it comes down to it, qualifying for workers’ compensation is a simple matter of being able to answer “yes” to these two important questions:
1. Are you an employee at the place where you got hurt?
This may sound like an obvious question to anyone hoping to claim workers’ compensation, but there are two important things to note about this basic rule.
First, you cannot claim workers’ compensation in Oklahoma if you are classified as an independent contractor. Oddly enough, it’s possible for you to be classified that way without even knowing it — in which case you should really consider working with a knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer. After all, an attorney who knows the ins and outs of Oklahoma employment law could mean the difference between recovering compensation and trying to pay those medical bills out of pocket.
Second, when we say that you need to be an employee at the place where you got hurt, what we mean to say is that you need to be either at your place of business or performing official work duties. So if, for example, you slip, fall, and break your arm on a wet floor in the office, that would qualify as a workplace injury. Likewise, if you get hurt on a job site that your company is in charge of, you probably still qualify.
2. Was your work the cause of your injury?
In other words, is your company to blame for the accident, or were you doing something you shouldn’t have been doing? For example, if you were using work equipment improperly and got hurt as a result, you could easily be denied workers’ compensation for the same reason you would be denied payment for a car accident that you caused. If it was a necessary job risk or an unfortunate mistake on your company’s part, you most likely qualify.
For your reference, here is a list of accidents that we commonly see turning into legitimately workers’ comp claims:
Slip and falls
Company vehicle accidents
Concussions and brain injuries
Loss of limb
Obviously, the above is not a comprehensive list, but if you stick to the two questions we’ve outlined, you’ll have a good idea of whether or not you have a valid claim to workers’ comp benefits.
How to Collect on Workers’ Comp Benefits
Unfortunately, applying for workers’ compensation and actually getting workers’ comp benefits are two different things. Often, people injured in legitimate workplace accidents are denied benefits the first time around — and that’s generally where a workers’ comp lawyer comes into play.
Not only can a seasoned workers’ comp lawyer help you urge an Oklahoma court to reconsider your application, but they can also help you apply correctly the first time around. So whether you’re considering filing, at a loss on how to file, or need help turning around a rejected application, we encourage you to give us a call.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA’S TRUSTED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION TEAM
When you get injured on the job, you expect your company to take care of you. After all, you were hurt because you were doing your job. Sadly, collecting your rightful workers’ comp benefits isn’t always so straightforward, but that’s exactly why we’re here. Contact us to discuss your work injury. We charge nothing unless we recover benefits on your behalf, so you have nothing to lose by setting up a free meeting.