There are many types of injuries covered by workers' compensation, but all of them have one thing in common: they are connected in some way to the victim's employment situation. However, employers and employees may have differing opinions on whether an injury can be considered “work-related.” The precise definition of “work-related” is important because it can affect eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
Work-Related Injuries Under RI Workers Compensation Laws
Under Rhode Island workers' compensation laws, the first qualification of a work-related injury is employment status. To collect benefits, you have to be an employee (rather than a day worker or independent contractor) who has suffered a compensable injury during the course of employment.
An injury may be considered “in the course of employment” if it occurs:
While on your regular shift.
Many on-the-clock injuries are related to employment because the employee is at the workplace and performing regular job duties. However, off-the-clock injuries can also qualify for workers’ compensation.
At the workplace.
If you were not officially working at the time of the injury (such as on a lunch break), the injury may still qualify as work-related if it took place on company premises.
On work-related travel.
Workers’ compensation provides payment for accidents suffered by workers traveling in company vehicles, performing errands for an employer, or traveling for work.
While at a company function.
Accidents at any event sponsored by the employer such as a company picnic or holiday party can qualify an employee for injury benefits.
As a result of your daily work activities.
Cumulative injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome, psychological injuries, or occupational illnesses) can take years to develop from the nature of the work you perform. Workers’ compensation can provide coverage for these conditions, as well as for injuries that were caused or worsened by a preexisting condition during employment.
While you were doing something on behalf of your employer.
As long as your injury can be connected in some way to your employment, there is a good chance you will qualify for benefits.
Have You Been Injured On The Job In Rhode Island?
If you've been hurt at work you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help work injury victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.