It can be really confusing for injured New York workers to know when they deserve workers’ compensation after an accident. Even if you think you deserve workers’ comp benefits, your employer or their insurer may disagree and deny your claim.
The important thing to remember is that you deserve compensation for injuries “resulting out of and in the course of employment”. What does this mean? It means that no matter where you are, if you’re there for work and you get hurt, you deserve compensation for your injuries.
A look at a few unusual workers’ comp situations may help clear this up:
· Hurt on an employer errand?
If you are sent by your boss on an errand for work, and you are involved in an accident and hurt, you deserve workers’ comp benefits. In one case, a woman was involved in a car accident while shopping for food and gifts for the company holiday party. She was hurt and needed time off and medical treatment. She received workers’ compensation, a judge ruled, because her shopping trip was work-related. Holiday parties help build teamwork, which benefits the employer, and the employee had been asked to shop for food and gifts by the employer. Now, her employer did try to appeal several times, but each time the judge ruled in the employee’s favor.
· Hurt in your employer’s parking deck?
In another case, a man was injured while walking back to work from lunch. He was hurt in the parking garage of his employer’s building and he filed for workers’ comp benefits. He got them. The judge ruled that the man had to walk through the parking garage to get to work, so his injury arose out of the course of his employment.
· Hurt in company housing?
In this case, a man was injured in company housing and filed for workers’ comp benefits. His employer’s insurance company denied his claim, stating that he was not on the job at the time therefore he did not deserve workers’ comp benefits. He appealed, and won. The judge in this case pointed out that the man was required to live in company housing for his job, so the only reason he was there was because his employer required it for him to be employed.
· Hurt at the company vending machine?
This case did not end well for the worker. A truck driver parked his truck at a plant so his truck could be loaded up. While it was stopped, he visited the company bathroom. After the bathroom, he went to the company break room to buy a snack from the vending machine. While in the break room, he fell and hurt himself. His workers’ comp claim was denied – and denied again on appeal – because he was not supposed to be in the break room. It turns out he was only allowed to go to the bathroom while his truck was parked and being loaded, so he could move it as soon as it was ready. By taking a detour to the break room he deviated from what he should have been doing for work, and because of this his vending machine accident is not covered by workers’ comp.
Does that clear things up? As you can see, determining whether or not you are eligible for workers’ comp benefits in New York can be a challenge. A great workers’ comp lawyer like those at Markhoff & Mittman can help you with your case, saving you time and frustration.
Markhoff & Mittman, P.C.
14 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
Toll Free: 866-205-2415
Phone: (866) 205-2415
Fax: (914) 946-0810