If you were hurt in an accident while on the job, you may be concerned about how to pay expensive medical bills and other living expenses if you’re not receiving a paycheck during your recovery. You may wonder if you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits—especially if your accident or injury may not seem directly related to the job. While some accidents are excluded from coverage, there are many conditions and illnesses that are eligible for workers’ compensation.
What Are Considered Workplace Injuries Under Rhode Island Law?
If your injury arose out of the scope and course of your employment—meaning you were hurt doing work for the company that was not caused by a separate medical condition such as vertigo or diabetes—you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your medical bills and lost wages. Injuries caused by a specific incident such as a fall or being caught between heavy machinery or by repetitive motions are covered. Workers’ compensation also includes the following conditions:
- Illnesses and diseases. If you developed an illness or disease—like an occupational cancer—that arose out of your employment, this would be a workplace injury entitling you to benefits.
- Pre-existing injuries. If you had a pre-existing condition that became worse due to a workplace injury, you could be entitled to benefits even if the original injury was not work related. You need to show that the work injury or activity contributed to the injury by accelerating or aggravating the pre-existing injury.
- Injury reoccurrence. An injury that reoccurs after your initial disability is considered within the scope of your employment whether it is a reoccurrence or an aggravation by a new workplace injury. However, if your injury was originally caused at another job, you may have to obtain benefits through that employer’s insurance company if it was not aggravated by a new injury.
- Flow-from conditions. A “flow-from” is used to define injuries or conditions that result from another work-related injury. For example, if you hurt your right hand and cannot use it effectively, you could compensate by using your left hand. If that hand also becomes injured due to overuse, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for this new condition.
If you were injured on the job, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who understands the injuries, accidents, and conditions covered under Rhode Island law. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation, and we can help determine if your injury is covered and discuss the benefits you could be entitled to.