Most Florida employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance which covers employees who get injured while doing work arising out of their work and occurring during the course and scope of their job duties. This insurance pays for lost wages and medical expenses.
What is Considered a Work-Related Injury?
There are some specific criteria for determining a work-related injury. A few of those criteria are listed below:
Injured While Performing Your Job Duties
You were injured while performing your specific work duties. This category covers you for accidents on the job. Some other things that fall under this heading are slip and fall, collisions, injuries from lifting heavy items, bending, or environmental exposure such as chemical burns.
Injured at Work but Not Working
If you were at work when you got hurt by either slipping and falling or some other way, even if you were on your lunch break or arriving or leaving, workers’ compensation insurance may still cover your injuries. Because you were at work, even if you weren’t “on the clock,” your injury would fall in the category of work-related. The facts are all important and must be reviewed to analyze these circumstances.
Injured While Performing a Task Related to Your Job
Even if you weren’t performing your exact job task, you might still qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits if you were working and doing something related. For example, if you were a delivery driver and got injured while filling your truck with gas, that would qualify.
Driving for Work
If you drive for work and are hurt in a car accident, this will also qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits. An example would be a delivery driver or someone who routinely drives others around in a company car.
Traveling as Part of Your Job
Many workers must travel as part of their job. Even though they may be running to catch a flight or driving to an appointment with a client, these tasks fall under workers’ compensation insurance because the actions are part of the workers’ duties.
What is Not Considered a Work-Related Injury?
Now that we have covered what is considered a work-related injury, let’s look at some examples of what a work-related injury is not.
On Break or Lunch
If you leave your workplace for lunch and visit a cafe and slip and fall, that is not considered a work-related injury unless there is a work-related circumstance. This is because even though it occurred in the middle of your workday, it did not happen at work or while performing your regular duties. However, if you are on break at your office or eating lunch in the lunchroom, your injury may qualify. Or if you leave your work location in order to take a break for personal comfort, injuries suffered may be compensable.
Going and Coming to work
Travel to and from work, for most employees, is not covered by worker’s comp depending on whether there is a work-related nature to the traverse. It is facts and circumstances dependent.
If you were injured due to misconduct and doing something you should not have been doing, workers’ compensation will not pay for your medical expenses or missed work time.
Contact your worker’s compensation attorney today if you have any questions about a work-related injury and need help proceeding with your case.