Working Outside And Frostbite: Can You Get Worker's Compensation?

For many places in the northern United States, below freezing temperatures are a part of life. Which means work doesn't stop just because it's cold and windy. So is there anything you can do if you suffer from a weather-related injury while working? Luckily for most full-time employees, worker's compensation is available, but many do not know how to use the service and what to use it for.

What is Worker's Compensation?

First, many people may mistakenly believe that worker's compensation is a way of suing your job in relation to injuries sustained. In reality, worker's compensation is more like a form of insurance for both you and the company. Additionally, worker's compensation generally covers three main types of causal injuries, including occupational diseases (you've probably at least seen the asbestos commercials), work-related accidents, or long-term effects from the job like issues from consistent sitting or repetitive motions causing joint issues.

Proving Injury

Work-related accidents are the easiest to prove, especially in a highly supervised profession. Being able to establish a link between work and injury is the most important factor when attempting to collect worker's compensation. While an attorney isn't a requirement when filing a worker's compensation claim, it may be a wise idea to hire one, or at the very least consult with one. It can be difficult to prove causation in some cases and an attorney can be an invaluable resource. 

There are other illnesses, however, such as mental illnesses, that are far more difficult to prove and the use of an attorney is inevitable. Linking anxiety to work is difficult to prove and in some states, mental illnesses are not covered through worker's compensation. Not only must work be the cause of the injury, more often than not the injury must happen during the course of the job, which gives mental illnesses another large hurdle to overcome in order to receive compensation. 

Weather and Injury

So, weather related issues fit into both categories perfectly. It's completely possible to get frostbite while digging trenches outside for a job, which makes for an easier claim. If the claim is initially denied, hiring a lawyer will make certain the claim isn't denied a second time, especially when the claim in pretty clear cut. A worker could also be anxious about getting frostbite and end up being distracted and making a mistake. The degree of the cold could also be a distracting factor.

Staying safe while working is the most important part of any job. Taking steps to prevent the occurrence of work-related injuries will not only help the company, but obviously your health is more important than a claim. Often times, many people abandon claims out of sheer frustration, which is why hiring a lawyer can be worth the money in the end for most people. Hopefully, knowing which injuries are covered can prevent you from filing a claim that will ultimately be rejected.