On an average day in January, you pull into your work parking lot and sit for a moment, enjoying the warmth of your car. It is one of those below freezing days, and you are not excited at the thought of walking into the building to begin the day. Hesitantly, you open the car door and step onto the ground, testing the ground for ice.
The ground seems okay so you hop out of the car—then you feel your feet slide out from under you, your head hits the door of your car, and you are flat on your back, bleeding profusely from your forehead.
You might be surprised to know that worker’s comp would not apply in this awful scenario. There are a variety of places and ways you can get injured at work that your workplace is not liable for, and it pays to be aware of them.
Any area in the parking lot of the building or areas adjacent to the actual place of business is not required to be covered, including some smoking areas and any areas used while reporting for a shift or leaving a shift.
Injuries that occur after consuming drugs or alcohol at work or outside of work are not covered. A positive test that proves you are under the influence of drugs or intoxication can result in you being held responsible for the accident.
Social activities and breaks
Getting hurt while playing soccer with coworkers during a break or while participating in a social activity with employees is not covered, as it considered personal time. If you are on a break that is not authorized by your supervisor or is outside of your work facility, any injuries that occur are also not within worker’s comp coverage.
If any conditions are already on record, known about, or your job’s tasks cannot be significantly proven to be aggravating the condition, subsequent injuries may not be covered.
Mental or psychological issues are not covered by worker’s comp unless a physical injury directly caused them. However, if they result from violent crime, some may be covered.
If you have been injured at your workplace and have questions about coverage, seek advisement on your unique situation and see if worker’s compensation is right for your case.