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Never assume your NY workers’ comp case is hopeless

This one is a good lesson for those injured New York workers who are sure they have an “impossible” case and will never get benefits.

This case happened in a different state, but illustrates a good point: even if you think you may not have much of a workers’ comp claim, file anyway – you may be surprised.  In this situation, a truck driver asked his employer for permission to visit a sick family member while he was out on a run.  His employer said sure, go ahead.

The driver had to go on a highway that was not on his permit to get to his relative’s house.  The highway was, however, permissible for the type of load he was hauling.  While driving on this off-permit highway, several motorists flagged him down to let him know that the back of his rig was on fire.

The truck driver stopped and tried to put out the fire, and was seriously injured when a tire exploded and harmed him.  Should he get workers’ comp benefits?

The court ultimately decided that he should, even though his employer did not want to pay him benefits because he deviated from his route.  His employer argued that traveling to see his sick relative was outside the scope of his employment, so they did not owe him anything.

It’s a good thing this guy did not give up.  In this case the court decided that the truck driver’s route was not important, what mattered was what he was doing when he was injured: putting out a fire on his employer’s rig.  Since he was protecting his employer’s property, he was performing employment related services and deserved workers’ compensation benefits.

Got a tricky New York workers’ comp case?  Let us take a crack at it – contact our offices today.

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Danielle Dexter, Workers Comp Client from Westchester County
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