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Do volunteers get workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Thousands of people in California volunteer to help their favorite charities and organizations in their spare time. In most cases, workers’ compensation only applies to employees–if you’re a volunteer, the agency hasn’t technically employed you. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Can volunteers apply for workers’ compensation?

If they’re interested, agencies can buy workers’ compensation for their volunteers. They’re not required by law to do so, but having workers’ compensation could protect them from lawsuits in the future. If you accept workers’ compensation, you’re essentially agreeing that you won’t sue the company for the incident. Without workers’ compensation, you have no reason not to file a lawsuit.

Additionally, volunteer firefighters and police offers get workers’ compensation because they’re considered government employees. If you’re not sure if you qualify or not, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. Even if your agency offers workers’ compensation, they might not compensate workers in certain situations. You might not be eligible if the insurance company determines that you were under the influence of alcohol or otherwise responsible for the incident.

Is it hard to collect workers’ compensation?

Most people have heard stories about employees waiting for their compensation for weeks or months. Filing for workers’ compensation can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Hiring an attorney could make the process much easier. They could tell you right away if you don’t qualify so you don’t waste your time going through the application and appeals system.

If you do qualify, an attorney could help you get compensation for various injuries. This could include back injuries, head injuries, fractures, broken bones, burns, strained muscles, amputation, hearing loss, exposure to toxic chemicals and much more. An attorney could also help you seek compensation if your loved one recently died after a workplace injury.