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The types of injuries to which workers' comp applies

Workers need to know what types of injuries may be covered by workers' compensation so that they know when to seek this compensation and what they may be responsible for on their own. Generally speaking, workers' comp may cover the following:

- Preexisting conditions that are made worse or accelerated by the working environment. For example, you could come to work with chronic back pain that is aggravated when you have to lift heavy items without proper safety equipment.

- Injuries that happen when you're on a break, such as a lunch break or a rest break. Even if you're not actively working, you may be covered on company property. This can also apply to company events, like a picnic.

- Injuries that occur while you're on the clock. These are the most common, of course, and they are the injuries people often think of first when considering workers' comp. These injuries can have many causes, such as unsafe facilities, unsafe work practices, and unsafe equipment.

- Work-related diseases, often caused by exposure to certain materials or toxins. For example, you may be covered if you were exposed to asbestos.

- Stress-related injuries stemming from an increasing workload. If you're overworked and have a heart attack as a result, you may have a claim.

On the whole, injuries and ailments that are caused either by your work environment or the negligence of your employer are going to be covered. Some of these things can be harder to prove than others, though, so it's important to know what legal steps to take and what evidence to gather in Pennsylvania.

Source: FIndLaw, "Workers' Comp In-Depth," accessed Feb. 04, 2016

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