How do I know if a workplace injury, illness or death gives rise to a workers' compensation claim?

Author: Michael C. Jacobson, XpertHR Legal Editor

For the most part, injuries, illnesses and deaths that result from employees engaging in their regular course of duties will be covered by the state-controlled workers' compensation system. As always, there are some exceptions to workers' compensation coverage that could disqualify the individual who suffered injury, illness or death or otherwise limit the amount and nature of benefits that are available to the employee. Generally, injuries, illnesses or deaths that result from employee intoxication, "horseplay," violation of express safety regulations, employee commuting to or from work or employee involvement in social or athletic events that are not a required part of the employee's job will not be covered by workers' compensation. Employers must check the state-specific regulations in the state where the incident occurred for more specific coverage information.