With all the snow we’ve seen in Utah this year, the chances of employees slipping and falling in the parking lot on the way into work is much more likely.
But many people may not realize that this is a workers comp claim, even if the person isn’t clocked in.
A surprising number of injured workers don’t pursue perfectly valid workers compensation claims because they’re unsure what actually counts as work-related. Today, let’s go over a few of those uncommon injuries, cover the basics of workers comp law, and discuss whether or not you might have a case.
In a surprising number of cases, breaking company rules—even criminally so—may not disqualify you from workers compensation benefits, and that’s even more true if your employer knew about the unsafe conditions or equipment beforehand.
Generally, misconduct does NOT prevent you from receiving benefits—except in cases that involve self-inflicted injuries.
Diseases are not as clear-cut as injuries, and it can be difficult to prove that an illness was specifically caused by working conditions.
Environmental diseases are the exception, with illnesses like black lung and asbestosis clearly linked to coal dust and asbestos exposure, respectively. These environmental diseases have a clear causal agent and are more easily linked to working conditions.
While some view hearing loss among factory and construction workers as inevitable, that doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it. In fact, these conditions are clearly work-related and should be covered by workers compensation benefits.
Even before you’ve clocked in or after you’ve clocked out, it’s your company’s responsibility to ensure that all of their facilities are safe. That’s why slips and falls that occur on your company’s property still typically count as “work-related” injuries.
Contrary to popular belief, aggravating a pre-existing injury at work does count as a work-related injury. For example, imagine you suffered an elbow injury. It heals, and you go on to start a new job. If you slip and fall in your company’s icy parking lot and aggravate your old injury, you may be eligible for workers comp.
Injuries sustained during your normal commute to and from work are usually not considered work-related, but there are exceptions.
Traveling for business purposes—such as meeting with clients, taking a company vehicle to another job site, or even airline employees traveling between destinations—should be covered.
Injuries sustained at company events usually are covered under workers comp insurance. The exception is company parties, optional events, or certain other situations, where it’s possible to claim compensation for medical bills but not for lost wages.
Medical expenses related to trauma caused by work-related events—such as a co-worker committing suicide, for example—may be covered under workers compensation insurance.
Depression and stress brought on by your work environment can also be eligible, but these conditions are difficult to prove.
In many cases, injuries sustained on your lunch break are not covered by workers comp insurance. However, there are a couple exceptions:
The lines between work-related injuries and injuries that aren’t covered by workers comp are often blurred—that’s where having an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer will come in handy.
If you’re still wondering whether you have a case or not, contact us right away for a free consultation, and let’s get to work building you a winning case.
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