The purpose of the workers' compensation system is to allow both employers and employees to quickly settle claims related to work-related injuries and avoid a lengthy court process. Many workers in Wisconsin who become injured in connection with their jobs are eligible to claim workers' compensation benefits. However, just because you sustain an injury on the job, it does not automatically follow that you should receive workers' compensation.
According to FindLaw, there are certain classes of employees who may not qualify for compensation even after a work-related injury. These classes can include agricultural workers, undocumented workers, domestic workers and seasonal workers. However, it is important to note that regulations governing compensation for workers in these categories vary by state.
Furthermore, it is usually only workers classified as employees who are eligible for workers' compensation. Those who work for the employer as independent contractors are therefore not eligible, as a general rule.
The circumstances under which the injury occurred can also make a difference, and again, the laws may vary by state. For example, rarely if ever can a worker get compensation for an injury that occurred when he or she was under the influence, but some states will allow a worker to receive compensation even if the injury resulted from a disregard of safety rules on the employee's part.
You do not always have to have been working at the time the injury occurred to qualify for workers' compensation. If you were taking a lunch break on property owned by your employer or participating in a company-sponsored event, such as a holiday party, the injury you sustained may still be compensable.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.