Accidents in the Workplace: Some Frequently Asked Questions

Accidents are one of the harsh realities in life. It happens anywhere at any time no matter how careful you are. Sometimes, you are solely to blame for your accident, but most of the time, other people’s carelessness is the cause for injuries, especially at the workplace. This is why most workplace accidents are covered under the workers’ compensation law, which means that the company will pay for the medical bills and if you are not able to work because of the injury, you will be entitled to receive payment.

If you get injured inside the office due to someone else’s fault or negligence, then you are also eligible. However, there are certain situations where it is not clear whether it remains the responsibility of the employers. It is always a good idea to contact a lawyer if you are a victim of a workplace accident.  Here’s a simple checklist to see if you are eligible.

Lunch break accidents

So many things can happen at lunch break, like if you dump a very hot coffee on yourself that results in 3rd degree burns or if the cafeteria chair suddenly broke and you fell backward injuring your spine—the possibilities are endless.  If this happens to you, will you be eligible for workers’ compensation?  The answer to that question depends on several factors. First, if you were taking your lunch in a company- owned restaurant inside the premises of the company, your lawyer may be able to get you the workers’ compensation that you deserve.

Injuries received during company events

Company sponsored events like team-building, seminars, or field work are like extensions of your work. You are there because you are an employee,  so, accidents that may happen to you while attending these events makes you eligible for workers’ compensation, unless you injure yourself on purpose because that would no longer be an accident.

A preexisting condition made worse because of work

Preexistent conditions are tricky because insurance companies usually deny claims if they are because of preexistent conditions. However, if your  condition is made worse because of  tasks that are not within your job description, like for instance if your work is  encoding documents but you are told to get a box in the storage room  and your backache worsens, then you are eligible for a workers’ compensation.

Injuries suffered while commuting to work

San Diego is a busy city and accidents happen a lot on the streets. Unfortunately, auto accidents happening while commuting to and from work are not covered by workers’ compensation, unless if you are on an official office duty. Another exception would be if you are in a company car and drunk driving when you meet an auto accident.

Injuries received while horsing around

Office workers sometimes horse around and this can lead to accidents. Fortunately, workers’ compensation protects even those workers who get into an accident because they are horsing around as long as it’s during office hours and within the office premises, because the law protects workers regardless of fault.  Of course, your boss may not be very happy about it and you may lose your job if this happens to you.

Workers’ compensation is a tricky subject too steeped in technicality and legality.  It is important therefore to contact reliable accident lawyers to help you with your claim.

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