A compensable injury in workers’ compensation is a work injury that meets the requirements for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Most injuries are compensable, with the exception of those sustained intentionally or as the result of a fight.
When Does An Injury “Arise Out Of” Employment?
An injury is said to “arise out of” employment when you are engaged in work activities at the time of your injury. Even if you were engaging in an activity that was not specifically a part of your job duties, you could still be entitled to benefits. The definition is applied broadly to just about any activity that has some benefit to your employer.
For example, if you are a mechanic at a car dealership and were injured while working on your own car without your employer’s permission, then that injury might not be considered to have arisen out of employment since the activity wasn’t benefitting your employer. However, if your employer knows that you occasionally work on your own car during work hours in order to learn more about cars in general, then it could be argued that your increased car knowledge benefits your employer. As a result, it could be argued that the injury did arise out of your employment.
These cases are very fact-specific and sometimes require creative arguments to show that an injury did indeed arise out of employment. Trained and seasoned attorneys will know how to find the facts they need in order to develop the strongest argument on your behalf, and to get you the benefits you so desperately need.
What Is The Meaning Of “In The Course Of Employment” As It Refers To Workers’ Compensation?
To say that your injury occurred “in the course of employment” is to say that your injury occurred while you were carrying out activities on behalf of your employer, whether stated or implied. These activities can include even those that aren’t related to your employer’s business as long as your employer was aware of the activity and allowed it to occur. If you are a delivery driver and were injured after you deviated from your route to visit a friend or go home, then you may have an injury that did not occur within the course of employment. This might be true even if you were technically on the clock at the time of the injury.
The Function Of Fault In A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation insurance is a form of no-fault insurance, which means you don’t need to prove that someone is at fault or negligently caused your injury. This means that injuries from unexplained falls are just as compensable as injuries with clear causes.
As an injured worker, you also don’t need to prove that you aren’t at fault; you only need show that your injury happened during working hours. For example, if as a result of forgetting to engage a safety device on a machine you sustain an injury, you may be considered at fault for the injury but would not be precluded from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. We obtained death benefits for the family of a man who was killed while trying to fix a machine without first following the lock out procedures. He was clearly at fault, yet his family was entitled to receive the full value of the death benefits available to them.
In order to show that an injury that was sustained over a period of time is compensable, you only need a doctor to say that you’ve suffered from cumulative trauma and are entitled to benefits. These injuries include repetitive motion injuries and cumulative trauma injuries that occur over days, weeks, or even years. However, nearly all cumulative trauma injuries are initially denied, so it’s essential to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
Rules: They Come And Go
In the context of workers’ compensation, the coming and going rule is designed to determine when a person is close enough to the employer’s place of business to be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, whether they are coming or going for the day. These injuries occur on the employer’s premises, but before the employee officially starts working or after the employee officially ends working. The rule allows people to collect workers’ compensation benefits even before they have officially clocked into work and within a reasonable distance after leaving work. Generally, this rule has been defined as allowing workers’ compensation benefits for those who are injured while anywhere on the employer’s premises (e.g. the parking lot), or anywhere between the employer’s premises and the employee’s home if the employer provides a company car.
Detour Or Frolic?
Injuries sustained during a detour, such as while driving from a sales route to a mechanic due to an auto mechanical issue, are compensable. This is because the detour is still of benefit to the employer. Injuries sustained during a frolic, such as while driving to a buddy’s house for a brew, are not compensable because the frolic benefits only the employee.
For more information on Compensable Injury In A Workers’ Comp Case, a personalized case evaluation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 426-9500 today.