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When is an injury considered work-related?

An on-the-job injury can be devastating for a California worker. It can keep them away from work and out of the position that earns them and their family money. Without income from their job, a Sacramento resident may struggle to make ends meet.

In California and throughout the country, employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides their workers with financial help when they suffer injuries and illnesses due to their employment. To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must apply. Not every injury sustained while at work will qualify, and this post will explore some of the scenarios in which workers’ compensation benefits may be approved.

Injuries in the course of performing on-site duties

Many workers’ compensation injuries happen at work sites and while workers are doing regular duties to their jobs. For example, when a construction worker falls from scaffolding at a job site and breaks their leg, their injury may be covered by workers’ compensation because they were on-site and performing duties that are part of their job responsibilities.

Similarly, if a nurse suffers a wrist strain while helping move a patient from one place to another, their injury would likely be compensable through workers’ compensation. That is because working directly with patients is part of the nurse’s on-site job and regular to their duties.

Injuries in the course of performing off-site duties

Not all work-related harm happens at job sites. In fact, many workers are hurt when they are away from their regular places of work. For example, a worker may be involved in a dangerous vehicle accident while delivering goods for their employer. If they were off-site when their injury happened but doing job-related work, they will likely be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits to provide them with financial support while they recover from their accident-related harm.

Injuries from causes unrelated to work

Regardless of where an injury happens, if a worker’s harm is caused by actions or behaviors unrelated to their work, their losses may not be compensable through workers’ compensation. If their employer alleges that they injured worker was attending to personal matters or engaging in dangerous behaviors or horseplay when their accident occurred, their claim for workers’ compensation benefits may be denied.

A workers’ compensation denial is not the end of the road, however, and all workers should know that they can fight for their rights to support when their jobs cause them injuries or illnesses. Workers’ compensation is important to California workers, and no worker with a rightful claim should be denied coverage when their employment has caused them to suffer.