If you have been hurt while working for your employer, you may be considering filing a claim for workers' compensation. However, there are a few situations where you may not be eligible. The following are four cases where you may not be able to collect on workers' compensation, even though you were injured on the job.
Your employer does not carry workers' compensation
Some businesses are exempt from carrying this type of insurance, although the businesses that are not required to have a policy are in the minority. The laws vary from one state to the next, but in general, a business with only a couple of employees may get an exemption. Exempted businesses also include certain charitable organizations. If you are told that there is no coverage at your place of work, make sure to consult with a workers' compensation attorney like those at Lovett Schefrin Harnett to discuss your options.
You are considered a farm worker
Most states will give a business owner an exemption from workers' compensation for certain types of farm workers. An example is someone who works in the fields, manually harvesting crops. However, a worker operating mechanical equipment, such as a combine harvester, may be covered under workers' compensation. Whether you qualify for compensation or not will depend upon the laws in your state and the specifics work you do.
You are considered a domestic worker
There are many possibilities for this type of work, but all of them relate directly to you going to an individual's or family's home to perform certain tasks. Examples of this are cleaning, cooking or taking care of children. If you follow under this category, the state you live in may not require the person hiring you to carry workers' compensation. You will need to speak to an attorney if you are injured, because, even without workers' compensation, your employer may be liable for your injury under his or her homeowner's policy.
You are considered to be a seasonal worker
Even though you may be working a 40-hour week, your job may be temporary because of the time of year. Summer jobs are a good example of this as well as jobs around the holidays. If your injury occurs doing this type of work, you may not be able to collect on workers' compensation.
If you get injured on the job, you can obviously inquire about your employer's participation in your state's workers' compensation program. But if you are told that there is nothing available, then you need to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer. State laws are not the same throughout the country, and even when an employer is exempt from carrying this type of insurance, the business may still be liable in other ways.