When Does Workers’ Compensation Not Apply?
After you are injured at work, you should consider filing a workers’ compensation claim to receive proper compensation for your injuries. Before filing a claim, however, you should make sure that workers’ compensation applies to your situation.
Situations where workers’ compensation may not apply
There are some injuries that occur under certain circumstances where workers’ compensation is not likely to apply:
- Commuting to and from work: Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur within the scope of employment. Travel to and from the workplace is generally not considered to be within the scope of employment. This means that if you are injured on your way to work, that injury will not likely be covered under workers’ compensation. However, it is important to note that your injuries may be covered if you drive a company car, do not have a fixed work site, or if you were running a work errand.
- Intoxication and substance abuse: If your injuries at work are due to your voluntary intoxication or substance abuse, those injuries may not be covered under workers’ compensation. However, drug testing must follow strict guidelines and can be challenged for an employer’s failure to fully comply with the applicable rules.
- Horseplay and fighting in the workplace: If you are injured resulting from engaging in horseplay or fighting in the workplace, your injuries will not likely be covered, as this type of behavior is seen to be outside the scope of employment. However, if your employer tolerated ongoing horseplay, your injuries may be covered.
- Work-related recreational activities: Many workplaces offer recreational activities for employees, such as team building activities, company picnics, and holiday parties. If an employee suffers an injury at a work event which is clearly voluntary and for the employee’s benefit only, the injury will not usually be covered by workers’ compensation. In contrast, there are certain factors which make it more likely that the injury will be covered, including the following:
- the employee was required to attend the event, or reasonably believed that attendance was required
- the employer benefited from the worker’s attendance (for example, because the event included a work-related presentation or brainstorming session)
- the activity occurred on the employer’s premises during business hours
Consult a workers’ compensation attorney
If any of the above situations apply to you, you shouldn’t automatically assume that you are not covered under workers’ compensation. Rather, you should consult your employer or a workers’ compensation attorney to determine whether your injury is covered and what your next steps should be.
Was Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied? Our Firm Can Help
If you recently filed a workers’ compensation claim that was subsequently denied and you would like to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer instead, The Musleh Law Firm is prepared to assist you through the process. Our experienced Ocala workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries.