Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation If I Was Hurt While Volunteering in Arizona?
People who volunteer their time for worthwhile causes deserve praise. But what happens if a volunteer gets hurt while they are working? While Arizona employees can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, does the law also protect volunteers?
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Volunteers in Arizona?
In Arizona, most people who perform traditional volunteering duties cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation generally includes people who perform paid work. However, there are some exceptions.
What Types of Volunteers Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Arizona law grants workers’ compensation coverage to volunteer workers of a county, city, town, or other political subdivision, contingent upon the passing of a resolution or ordinance that defines the nature of the volunteer work and who is entitled to benefits. Examples of covered workers include volunteer firefighters, volunteer police officers, members of volunteer sheriff’s reserves, volunteers at licensed healthcare institutions, and individuals involved in emergency management training.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
Benefits available under the Arizona workers’ compensation system include:
- Medical benefits that cover the cost of all reasonable and necessary treatment for a work injury
- Temporary compensation benefits worth two-thirds of the difference between a worker’s pre-injury wages and current earnings, or $400 per month for those volunteering with a political subdivision
- Permanent compensation benefits that provide financial payments based on the nature of a permanent injury, disability, or facial scarring
- Death and burial benefits available to surviving family members financially dependent on the deceased worker
What to Do If You Are Injured While Volunteering
You can take the following steps to protect your rights after suffering an injury while volunteering:
- Notify your supervisor of your injury as soon as possible.
- Take photos or videos of the accident scene or the hazardous condition that caused your injury.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Let your doctor know that your injury occurred during volunteer work.
- Keep copies of your medical records, bills, invoices, receipts, and pay stubs from any other job you have.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions.
Finally, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. You have only one year to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. An attorney can also help you explore other legal options for recovering compensation for your injuries if you do not qualify for workers’ compensation. For example, some volunteers may not be eligible for workers’ compensation but could have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the business or entity they worked for when the injury occurred.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney in AZ
Have you suffered injuries while volunteering in Arizona? You need a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to determine your eligibility for benefits. At Matt Fendon Law Group, we serve as a rock for injured workers. Let us help you pursue the money you need to move on with your life. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona.