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If you are injured while on the job, you may think that you are automatically covered by workers' compensation through your employer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some cases, it can actually be a rather complicated matter to determine whether or not you actually qualify and are actually covered.
Usually, there are two factors that come into play in helping to make this determination. First, it must be established as to whether you are actually considered an employee for the company or if you are classified as an independent contractor. Employees typically receive hourly pay or a salary and their payroll taxes are taken out of their check by the employer. Independent contractors, on the other hand, are not actually considered to be on the payroll and generally only work for an employer as needed with no taxes taken out of the amount that they are paid. This means that if you are an independent contractor who is injured by a piece of equipment while on the company job-site, the company may be liable for the injuries that you suffer, but you would not be entitled to workers' compensation.
The second factor that makes this determination as to whether or not you are entitled to workers' compensation involves whether your injury actually occurred as a result of your employment. If you are off the clock, but fall while engaging in horseplay on the job-site, you would typically not be covered. Also, if you are on the clock, but are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while working, or if you injured yourself intentionally, you may not be covered under your employer's workers' compensation.
Individuals who are hurt on the job may find valuable information about their legal rights on the website.