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Can I get workers' compensation benefits for my injury?

So you were injured at work, and now you need help dealing with the physical, emotional and financial fallout. However, the workers' compensation system in Washington can be confusing, and you are not sure if you qualify for benefits. This is understandable, especially since your employer's insurance company is not on your side.

Identifying which injuries workers' compensation covers can be fairly straightforward. Injuries and accidents are not always black and white, though. It could be possible that you very clearly qualify for workers' compensation benefits, or your injury might be less obvious.

Will workers' compensation cover my injury?

If your injury is connected to an employment condition or requirement, you should qualify for benefits through the workers' compensation system. The work-related injuries that are usually most easily identified are those that take place on company property during work hours. If you were hurt while directly engaging in a job duty or task, then you probably already know that you can apply for benefits.

But what about injuries that occur outside of the workplace? While a truck driver might spend a significant portion of his or her day working, it is not on company grounds. A worker meeting a client at a restaurant may also not technically be at his or her place of work, either. However, if these workers are hurt while completing work duties, then they likely qualify for benefits.

What about the holiday party?

Many workplaces and employers sponsor events for employees. Holiday parties, group outings and other events are not that uncommon in Washington. So what happens if you are hurt while you are off the clock at a company-sponsored event?

Despite what some employers might have you think, suffering an injury at a work event is often considered to be related to work. This makes it a work-related injury. You probably qualify for workers' comp if you were hurt at an event like this.

Don't leave your health up to chance

It takes time to recover from serious injuries. For many injury victims just like you, taking time off work is not always financially feasible. This can make paying related medical bills and simply focusing on recovery extremely difficult. Instead of trying to push through, you should apply for workers' compensation benefits.

These benefits provide temporary financial support to help you bridge the gap as you take time off work to recover. It should also cover your related medical bills, which can pile up much more quickly than you might imagine. Sadly, insurance companies tend to side with employers over injured workers, so getting the workers' compensation benefits you need can be an uphill battle. Working alongside an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help reduce some of the stress related to this process.

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