Work-related injuries don’t always happen on the job. Sometimes, a work-sponsored event can lead to an accident. Perhaps there is a physical activity, such as a race, or maybe there’s just a freak accident.
Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to receive workers’ comp, even if you are not directly working. Here are some examples and scenarios where you could be eligible for benefits.
The Event Was Mandatory
Anything you must attend is technically part of your job. For all intents and purposes, you are at work. This is true even if it’s a party, and booze is flowing.
The Event Was Endorsed by Your Employer
The law generally recognizes power dynamics in a worker/employee relationship. An event may not be mandatory, but your boss can still pressure you into going. In these situations, you can easily make the argument that you felt it was necessary to be there.
Sometimes, a manager can “go rogue” and take employees on a “field trip.” Perhaps they did not receive official clearance for this event, and upper management doesn’t even know it is happening.
In this situation, you should still be eligible for workers’ comp if you are injured. As far as you know, the event is necessary, and everyone cleared it with the proper channels.
The Event Is Regularly Scheduled
Some workplaces have regular, “unofficial” events. Companies run by religious people may have weekly prayer meetings. Sometimes, an employer encourages group exercise events.
Once more, you should be able to receive benefits for any injuries sustained at such events. Everyone involved understands that this is break time, and productivity lowers. Even so, it is a regular part of the work culture, and workers may feel pressured to get involved.
Workers’ Comp Denials
Insurance companies have a reputation for using any excuse to deny benefits. One could argue that doing so is part of their business model. They make their money by taking in payments and giving out as little as possible.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance benefit. As such, it is subject to insurance companies giving flimsy reasons to deny necessary benefits.
If you are hurt at an a work event, the insurer can use this fact as an excuse to withhold your money. They might claim that the injury is not technically work-related.
Before submitting any workers’ comp claims, run them by an attorney first. Your lawyer can help make sure the paperwork is properly filled out and submitted. They can also look over the wording of your claim, helping ensure that its phrasing will lead to your getting benefits.
If you are denied, your attorney can stand by your side and represent you in an appeal. The appeal process is like a courtroom trial. You can present evidence, witnesses, and arguments. Hiring a lawyer will be invaluable in this situation. They are trained to build cases and argue for their clients.
Samra Dhillon & Associates is here to help you with workers’ compensation, whether you are just submitting your forms or must appeal a denial. You can reach our office by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (916) 571-1550.