If you've had an accident on the job, workers' compensation is designed to cover the costs associated with your injuries and help you get back to medical and financial stability. Unfortunately, compensation isn't always a given. While, ideally, your employer should be responsible for any injuries that are due to your employment, the unfortunate fact is that there are exceptions—most designed to protect businesses from unfair demands. Bliven Law Firm, P.C. in Kalispell, MT, outlines the three main requirements for a workers' compensation case.
Requirements for Eligibility
1. Your Employer Must Be Subject to Workers' Compensation
Not every employer is required to carry workers' compensation insurance or other coverage for their employees. There are several specific exemptions under Montana law, including newspaper carriers, domestic help, various people paid solely on commission, and independent contractors. Also, the federal government has a separate compensation program for its workers, so you'll have to seek relief under the federal program rather than through the state's workers' compensation programs.
2. Your Injury Must Be Work-Related
In general, if you're at your place of work doing something that benefits your employer, you're covered by workers' compensation. However, there may be some doubt if you were officially off the clock, or not on-site but still doing something relevant to your job. An attorney can help you get a better idea of whether your injury or illness qualifies.
3. You Must Be an Employee
Again, independent contractors are generally not eligible for workers' compensation benefits. You must be legally and employee before your employer is liable for your workplace injuries. However, many employers wrongly classify employees as independent contractors, either by mistake or out of a desire to avoid legal obligations to employees. If your workers' compensation claim is denied on these grounds, it's worth checking with an attorney to see whether you might still qualify.
If you think you may need to file an injury claim, call Bliven Law Firm, P.C. today. The experienced workers' compensation attorneys there can help you determine whether your case is worth pursuing. Call them at (406) 755-6828 or contact them online for more information.