• Nov
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Does Being Hurt at Work Automatically Mean Workers’ Comp?

    Workers’ compensation represents an unspoken agreement between employers and their employees regarding what happens if a worker is injured on the job: Based on long-standing laws, it is essentially a safety net and insurance policy that companies provide for their employees in exchange for those employees not filing personal injury lawsuits against them. Though workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and a portion of wages missed to allow for time to heal and rehabilitate, that does not mean that the payments are automatic, or even guaranteed.

    Employers are required to report on-the-job injury claims to the companies that provide their workers’ compensation coverage, but those claims need to be assessed to determine whether the injuries are legitimate and whether they occurred within the “course and scope” of their job. What this means is that they want to be sure that it was an injury that occurred on the job rather than during your time at home or engaged in recreational activities. They also want to make sure that even if it occurred while the worker is on the job, that they were in fact doing their job rather than doing something illegal or dangerous.  Here are some basics about what is and is not covered by workers’ compensation:

    • If you are injured while on a break but still on your employer’s premises, you will likely still be covered. If you leave your workplace on a break, you will likely not be covered.
    • If you are injured while still on your employer’s premises but have clocked out for the day (i.e. in the parking lot, in a break room or locker room) you will likely still be covered unless you were doing something illegal or risky.
    • If you are off-premises but injured while running a work errand or doing something work-related, you will likely be covered.
    • If you are injured while commuting to or from work, your injury will likely not be covered.
    • If you are injured while traveling for business, whether to attend a conference, or from one client to another, or to a professional meeting, you likely will be covered.
    • If you were injured during company-related recreational activities that you were expected or required to attend by your employer, you may be covered.
    • If you were injured on the job and were intoxicated at the time, your injury is unlikely to be covered unless the accident was unavoidable and not your fault.
    • If you were injured on the job as a result of engaging in reckless fooling around, your injury is unlikely to be covered unless such activity was understood to be part of the company’s culture.

    If you’re having problems with workers’ compensation, the experienced attorneys of Jarve Kaplan are here to listen and help you get a fair deal. If you need help with a workers’ compensation claim, contact us today.

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