If a worker is injured at his or her place of employment, it is not a guarantee that a workers’ compensation claim will be respected in the courts. The injury must “arise out of” and take place “in the course of” the employee’s work. This might seem like a no-brainer, but some circumstances can muddle the classifications of “arising out of” and occurring “in the course of” employment.
For an injury to arise out of employment, the injury must be caused by the work itself. An example of this is an office worker in one building becoming injured by a firearm discharge in the next building over. Because the office environment carries no inherent risk of being hit by a stray bullet, workers’ compensation would not necessarily be awarded. This could change, however, if the employee hit by the bullet worked at a shooting range.
For an injury to arise in the course of employment, the injury must have occurred due to a normal job-related action. A truck driver injured in an accident, for example, or one who hurt his or her back lifting heavy cargo could absolutely file a claim.
If the same driver tripped at a rest stop while trying to buy a snack and broke his or her leg, the situation changes. Because the purchasing of the bag of chips was the employee’s decision, not the employer’s, workers’ compensation can be denied.
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page of Larrimer & Larrimer’s workers’ compensation law firm.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys