An important part of the puzzle when it comes to getting workers compensation after an injury or illness is a seemingly simple clause. This clause, "arising out of and in the course of employment, is actually more complex than it first sounds.
To help you understand how it affects your particular case, here's what you need to know about these two factors.
What Does Arising Out of Employment Mean?
Workers compensation covers accidents, injuries, and some illnesses that happen due to your employment. Therefore, the injury generally must first happen because you were employed.
If you have an unrelated heart attack at the office, this may not be covered under workers compensation unless you prove that your job contributed to it. Similarly, if a staff member falls in the public parking lot of their employer after hours, they may not be covered if they would have incurred the same injury as simply a member of the public.
This concept is often applied when a person develops mental health issues or chronic illness due to their occupation. Even though your migraines can happen at any time, a migraine may be a covered illness if your job causes them.
What Does In the Course of Employment Mean?
The related idea of an incident occurring in the course of employment generally touches on what the employee was doing at the time rather than where they were. Certainly, if you're clocked in at work and have an accident, it occurs during your course of employment. But what about when you're not physically on the worksite?
An employee whose employer sends them on an errand during their shift is still considered to be acting in the course of employment even though they're driving, shopping, or dropping off items at the post office. And a salesperson attending an out-of-town trade show is likely to be covered by workers comp throughout their trip because the trip itself is done in the course of employment.
There are gray areas within this concept, though. If that employee was going to the post office with a personal package and simply carried their employer's mail for convenience, were they really there in the course of employment? The insurance company will likely argue that they were not, while the employee may have a valid point that they were.
Where Can You Learn More?
In today's complex work environment, the definitions of "arising from and in the course of employment" are always evolving. The best place to begin is by consulting about the specifics of your injury with an experienced workers compensation attorney in your state. Reach out to a firm like Workers Comp Lawyer, PC to learn more.Share
16 May 2022
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