What If I Was Injured While Volunteering?
There was such a tremendous response at your children’s school that there was practically chaos everywhere!
And you noticed the committee could do with some extra help.
Being the Good Samaritan you always are, you volunteered.
Things were going well until you tripped over some wires and fractured your elbow in the process. You now wonder what happens in your case, whether you can claim any form of compensation.
Volunteering is undoubtedly a great way to develop your network of connections and do something meaningful for the community. You also feel so much better helping others.
No matter how or what you do as a volunteer, the time invested also means a lot to the local community.
But like anything else you do, there are always some risks involved, even while volunteering. You must know about the risks involved and your rights while signing up.
What You Can Do If Injured While Volunteering
Here are your options:
1. Consider Workers Compensation
Unfortunately, most workers’ compensation policies don’t cover volunteers. It’s because they pay compensation for the company employees.
As volunteers are not on the payroll, they are not the company employees and don’t receive coverage.
However, there is still some hope as rules tend to vary between states. Besides, some businesses have volunteers helping out regularly if and when they need extra help.
In this case, they may have purchased additional workers’ compensation coverage for the volunteers.
It’s the employer’s way of showing gratitude, and it also avoids unnecessary lawsuits if an accident occurs.
However, as this is relatively expensive coverage, not many employers have it. But there’s no harm in your checking out if they do if you got injured while volunteering.
2. Consider Student Coverage
Students opt to spend many hours volunteering as part of their education and to improve their resumes. So if you are one of them, there’s a chance that you have student insurance.
The policy covers any injury expenses that occur as part of your learning experience, including volunteering. So you may have student coverage if you are an intern for a specific course where you receive college credit.
3. Check With Your Medical Insurance Provider
You will likely receive compensation for your injuries from your private medical insurance policy. There may be some co-pays and deductibles to pay for.
But you can pay most of your injury expenses through your health insurance policy.
4. Filing a Lawsuit Is Always an Option
You can always opt to sue the responsible party if nothing else works and you can’t pay your medical bills.
So supposing you volunteered to distribute flyers.
And a homeowner’s dog bites you.
In this case, you can file a lawsuit against the homeowner.
And in your case, you could perhaps file a lawsuit with the school for poor organization.
And in case you volunteered at a nursing home.
And you were unnecessarily injected, you can file a lawsuit against the nursing home or the employee.
You Can Always Contact Your Glendale Workers Compensation Attorney
No matter if you have coverage or not, or if you plan to sue the responsible party for your injury expenses. It is always better to do things with your lawyer’s assistance.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Glendale will help you decide on the proper plan of action to adopt.
How You Can Minimize Risks While Volunteering
Of course, prevention is always better than cure.
So if you keep volunteering, you can do a few things to minimize the risks of injury.
- Keep the surroundings free of anything that can trigger a slip, fall, or trips like toys, wires, and ice.
- Use your legs and keep your back straight if you lift heavy items or use a dolly.
- Have as many volunteers help you to complete challenging tasks like moving furniture
- Wearing gloves can help prevent some injuries.
- Experienced volunteers could help out-train recruits