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What determines if an injury qualifies for workers' compensation?

Being injured at work is a shock. Most employees are very safe and do everything they can to continue working and earning a living. If you are injured on-the-job, you should learn about the options that you have for dealing with the financial burden you now face.

One of the options that you might have is to file for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help you get the medical care you need. They can also replace part of the wages you should be earning but can't.

If you are filing for workers' compensation, you might have questions about what types of injuries are compensable. The answer to this isn't as easy as what it might seem as there are several things to consider.

Where did the injury or illness occur?

If the injury was because of something that happened while you were at work and doing your job, it is likely compensable. In the case of an illness, it can be difficult to pinpoint where the issue occurred. In these cases, you have to think about whether work-related conditions could have contributed.

 For example, a person who suffers from lung cancer and worked in an environment filled with cigarette smoke, such as the smoking section of a restaurant, and didn't smoke cigarettes might be able to receive workers' compensation for the lung cancer.

How did the injury or illness occur?

The way the injury or illness occurred can have an impact on whether it is compensable. If you were goofing off in an area where you should have been serious, there is a chance that your injury might not be compensable.

Of course, this isn't always the case. The conditions that were present when you were injured can also have an impact on a workers' compensation claim.

Are there any other circumstances surrounding the incident?

Some workers' compensation claims involve alcoholic beverages. If you were drinking at the time of the injury, the reason you were in the presence of alcohol might matter. For example, you might be able to get workers' compensation if you are injured at a work-sponsored event where alcohol was provided.

Many workers' compensation claims will require drug testing. In most cases, your claim wouldn't be considered compensable if you had drugs in your system. Of course, this is something that might be up in the air if you had a prescription for the drugs you were taking at the time of the injury.

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