When you get hurt badly on the job, filing for workers’ compensation may seem like the obvious next step to take. However, for some, it is unclear just what injuries count as serious enough to submit for consideration.
Is the injury work-related?
Workers’ compensation covers any health-related situation that happens due to the conditions of the workplace, but there are a few situations where it does not apply. Personal outings that do not happen on company property, such as going out for drinks with another worker and somehow getting injured, are the fault of the employee.
Getting hurt on company property can lead to serious repercussions when it comes to legality. Lunchtime is a popular time to travel outside the workplace for food or a short break. Any issues that arise from an outing requested by the company, such as meeting a client for lunch, does usually count for worker’s compensation.
Many issues that arise from horseplay, such as running and jumping around a building, are a gray area. Each state or company may have its own policy regarding how responsible they are for those injuries.
Yet another aspect is if the incident happened while at a company-sanctioned party or not. The chances of successfully applying for workers’ compensation may rise if you get hurt at the physical location of your job or if the alcoholic beverages served were from the company. Injuries sustained from personal trips or parties at a separate location typically do not apply.
Although this is not as typical, some workers may not be technically employees at all. Independent contractors or other hiring situations may not qualify for workers’ compensation. Each state has a different policy, so it is important to know if you count as an employee before filing.