An Accident at Work Leaves You With an Injury: Who Pays the Medical Bills?

You have an accident at work. You have injuries and need expensive medical treatment. Does workman's comp cover you? Working RVers, who covers the doctor and hospital bills if you get hurt on the job?

Are You Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

If you have an accident at work and are working as an employee, chances are your employer is paying for worker's compensation insurance. The most basic purpose of worker's comp is to pay for employee's medical expenses when they receive an injury on the job.

But, are you an employee?

It could be that as a working camper, you are a volunteer or an independent contractor.

Some non-profit organizations have liability insurance that covers volunteers against injuries. Others don't provide that benefit for their volunteer workers.

Even for those that do provide worker's comp or medical injury insurance, the coverages aren't necessarily standard. You might be covered while on the organizations premises. But, if you are running an errand in town, you might not be covered. And, what about car accidents? If you are driving the organization's vehicle, you may be covered. However, if you are driving your personal vehicle, it could be a very different story.

If you are truly an independent contractor, then you aren't an employee. Protections put into place for employees don't apply. If you have an accident at work, you may find yourself completely responsible for any related medical bills.

What about work-in-exchange-for-a-site deals at private campgrounds? Is the campground owner treating you as a full-fledged employee? If not, you could be in for a nasty surprise if you have a work accident. If it is a casual arrangement, is there any paper trail that shows you are an employee? If the campground treats you like "one of the family" who is "just helping out," he might not be paying workman's comp premiums.

Accidents at work are a reality of life, whether while RVing or otherwise. I don't mean to scare you. Just be aware that there are different worker situations and that with some you will have medical benefits if you get hurt on the job and at others you won't.

Important note: I am not a medical, insurance, or legal expert, and I am not providing you with any medical, insurance, or legal advice. The purpose of the article is to bring awareness to the topic of work related injuries.

More articles on taxes and legal matters for working RVers.

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