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Does Your Injury Count? The Gray Areas of Workers’ Compensation

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Suffering from an injury obtained at work is hard on many different levels. Injuries incurred on the job can cause many physical, mental, and financial challenges that the individuals suffering and their families are not prepared for. By their nature, injuries incurred on the job are unexpected and often result in unanticipated hospital bills, prescriptions and other expenses that quickly add up. Workers’ compensation can therefore offer life-changing relief for the thousands of Floridians who file claims every year.

However, even the most reliable of employees does not technically “work” every second of the workday. Though we often don’t think about it when we step out for a smoking break or to make a personal phone call, simple actions can create circumstantial discrepancies that can prevent an injured party from being able to recover workers’ compensation.

It is imperative that people who have been injured on the job during a gray area reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. These kind of claims can be very difficult to handle independently as they turn on the factual details of what occurred.

When Does Workers’ Compensation Apply?

Under Florida law, an individual can typically recover when he or she is injured during the scope of his or her employment, which typically means that the injury takes place onsite of the place of employment, is occurs during normal work hours, and happens while the employee is acting within the duties of his or her job. Injuries that occur at work outside of these circumstances are still recoverable in many situations, but the many gray areas that injuries can happen in means that each claim is unique.

What Are the Gray Areas?

Lunch Breaks – whether you can recover for an injury that happens on your lunch break can depend on factors including whether you also bought lunch for your boss, whether your break was paid, and whether you were onsite at a workplace cafeteria or had left the premises.

Commuting & Business Trips – injuries that occur during your journey to and from work and while working out of town may be covered. This may turn on factors such as whether you were clocked in, whether you were operating a car owned by your employer, and whether the travel was within the scope of your duties i.e. a traveling salesman.

Corporate events – these can be especially tricky. A corporate event that is intended for networking or furthering business interests may be treated very differently than a holiday party where alcohol is served to employees.

Misconduct – this may be surprising, but you may be able to recover even if your behavior was not directly aligned with your work duties at the time you were injured.

You Don’t Have to Stay In a Gray Area. Allow Us to Help Make Things Clear.

If you or someone you love has been injured in circumstances that do not fall within a clearly defined work scope, it can be very confusing trying to figure out whether you can recover. You can depend on the experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates to help simplify this process and assist you in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation so that we can explain how Florida workers’ compensation laws apply to the facts of your case.

Resource:

dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/statistics/WebPages/FLORIDA.htm

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