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If you recently sustained an injury at work in Phoenix, you may be full of questions and uncertainty. Since your work is your livelihood, you may be feeling a financial strain on top of the stress associated with your injury. Fortunately, the state of Arizona offers workers’ compensation benefits to those individuals who become injured while carrying out their job duties. If you need help determining if you have a case, contact the Phoenix workers compensation attorneys at Cruz & Associates for FREE case consultation.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona requires that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. These insurance policies offer benefits to workers when they become injured or suffer harm in the course of performing their job duties.

The workers’ compensation system in Arizona is no-fault, which means you won’t have to prove that your employer’s carelessness played a role in your injury. You likely have a claim to benefits if the following apply:

Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation Insurance (Or Should, Under Arizona Law)

Not every employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but most do. In Arizona, if you have more than five employees, you must carry workers’ compensation coverage. Alternatively, businesses can show a certificate to self-insure, but this usually only applies to large corporations. If your employer says you cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits because they are not required to carry insurance, talk to a Phoenix workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible.

You Must Be an “Employee”

In order to have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim, you must be classified as an employee with your company. For example, independent contractors are not employees and do not have the same rights under workers’ compensation law. Usually, volunteers are also not employees and cannot qualify for benefits, although some companies choose to “opt-in” and allow these benefits to their volunteers.

Sometimes, businesses erroneously classify their workers as independent contractors when they are really employees under the law. This highlights the need for hiring an attorney to evaluate your case.

Your Injury or Illness Is Work-Related

An occupational illness or injury does not have to be directly caused by work; it may be that an injury was simply exacerbated or accelerated. Injuries and illnesses run the gamut from exposure to harmful substances, physical ailments, disease, and even mental or psychological conditions. Generally, if you can connect your illness or injury to work, it may be covered by your company’s workers’ compensation policy.

At times, this distinction can be difficult to ascertain. For example, are you covered when your injury occurs while running errands for your boss? What about at a mandatory holiday work party? Or a work-caused total disability? These are instances in which scheduling a free initial consultation with an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney or a Phoenix disability benefits attorney can be beneficial.

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Cruz & Associates have 25 years of experience in workers’ compensation law. We can help you understand your rights and we’re committed to helping you receive the benefits you deserve under Arizona law. All of our attorneys are bilingual, so we are prepared to serve our Spanish-speaking clients. For more information or to schedule your risk-free case evaluation with our firm, please contact us.