Work related injuries occur in places that extend beyond the actual building or premises owned by an employer. For example, if you have to travel in connection with your employment you are considered a traveling employee. The law considers a traveling employee to be in the continuous conduct of business. Meaning, even though you may not literally be working, you’re covered under workers compensation while engaged in normal and necessary activities as eating and sleeping. Florida cases have consistently held that if a job requires you to stay overnight, the hotel becomes the place of employment. An exception to being covered under worker’s compensation is if you are injured while engaged in purely personal, non work related, and non essential, activity. An example would be a flight attendant injured while snow skiing during a layover. The injury while snow skiing would not be covered because snow skiing is not a normal or necessary activity. However, if that same flight attendant is injured while using the hotel gym, then he or she is covered. Exercise involving a work out is considered normal and necessary. People that travel in connection with their employment include but are not limited to the following examples: a pizza delivery driver, an in home healthcare nurse, semi – truck driver, tow truck driver, traveling sales representative, or an individual traveling for work specific training, convention, or a seminar. Although the laws vary from state to state regarding work related injuries, the basics behind workers compensation is to provide you income and pay for your medical expenses while protecting your employer from a lawsuit.
As another example, consider a circumstance involving a business trip. During the trip, you are invited to dinner by a manager. He or she insists you have another martini before dinner. You do not wish to offend the person, so you agree. After dinner he or she persuades you to have a snifter of cognac. You are dropped off at your hotel and you step in front of another car that was pulling up to the lobby and are knocked to the ground. You do not feel that you are injured at the time. The next day you can barely get out of bed because your back is wracked with pain and your hip is sore. Can you collect workers compensation? Arguably yes. Moreover, you likely have a personal injury case against the driver that hit you. The fact that you had too much to drink does not reduce the liability of the driver if it can be proven that you could not have avoided the accident regardless of your alcohol consumption. Plus there is no proof that you were impaired in the first place. You must prove that the driver’s actions were reckless and endangering. If an employee is on a special errand for their employer, they are generally covered under workers compensation.
When an individual is injured in the course and scope of employment, there is always an interest in determining whether third party liability exists. This means determining if another party can be sued in connection with your accident besides the worker’s compensation carrier.
As is evident in the above hypothetical cases, the rules for workers compensation are complex and entangled. They require the skill of a workers’ compensation attorney to pursue what seems like the most cut and dried of cases. Workers compensation is insurance no matter how you look at it. Ultimately, it is the job of the insurance adjuster is to save money for the company.
If you are injured and go to your own doctor, the potential for problems in your case arises. The workers compensation provider will require you to go to a doctor of their choosing. Your workers compensation lawyer will know how to stack the cards in your favor with additional medical experts and tests. It is important that all documentation is in place to prove that the injury actually happened when and where you are claiming. These would include police reports, all medical records, and statements from any witnesses.
If you were injured while engaged in any activity related to your job, seek medical attention immediately even if you feel your injury is minor. Many injuries may not produce symptoms for days or even weeks. An immediate medical examination will not only reveal underlying injuries, it will validate the actual time and place where it occurred. Once you are stabilized, contact a workers compensation lawyer immediately. Do not try to negotiate the complex system alone. You will greatly reduce the chances of your success.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has successfully helped countless people with work related injuries. If you were injured, call Dolman Law at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765