Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available When You Are Injured While on Break?
What happens if you are on break—in the washroom, outside smoking, on a short walk or simply taking a few minutes away from your desk—and you get injured? Will workers’ compensation cover such injuries, from falls to cuts and so on?
This type of work injury falls under the comfort rule and personal convenience doctrine. This doctrine states that activities during the workday that are important for your health and comfort are considered “part of the ‘circumstances’ element of the course of employment.” in other words, the chances are good that such injuries would be covered by workman’s comp.
How do you determine whether or not the comfort rule applies to your work injury? Several factors can be considered, including:
- The duration of the break period;
- Whether or not the employee is paid during the break period;
- Whether or not the employer provides a place for employees to take breaks, including where vending facilities are located;
- Whether or not the employer permits off-premises breaks; and
- The proximity of the employment site to the off-premises location where the employee was injured.
Most importantly, contact an attorney to describe your specific experience so that we can help you determine how workers’ compensation benefits will apply. Oxner + Permar is here to help. We’ve seen all varieties of workplace injury cases and we’ve won just about all of them.
Thanks to the comfort rule and the convenience doctrine, injuries that happen while on break often are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Will Returning to Work After an Injury Hurt My Case?
After a work injury, you might be chomping at the bit to return to work, and you’re not alone. Whether it’s because you’re ready for your regular paycheck, or because you’re bored with recovering at home or maybe simply because you miss your job, there are many reasons to want to head back to the workplace. I’ve had many clients who are worried about returning to work too soon. In terms of workers’ compensation, what does it mean to return to work? Will it hurt my case?
There are two ways you can return to work:
- Return to work (Form 28)
- Trial return to work (Form 28T)
The difference between these two has to do with restrictions. Return to work (Form 28) is when you return to work without work restrictions. On the other hand a trial return to work (Form 28T) is required when you’re returning to work with restrictions.
Each of these scenarios will have different implications on your case; therefore, we recommend you seek an experienced attorney for advice. We’ll be able to look at your case specifically and decide exactly which course of action is best for you. The attorneys at Oxner + Permar are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the benefits that you deserve. And with over $275m in awards and settlements, we have the experience to know exactly which steps are best for your case.
When it comes to returning to work after an injury, every situation is different. Sometimes it makes sense to return right away; other times it’s best to wait. If you have any questions, feel free to contact an attorney for a free consultation.
When You’re Injured in an Accident, Don’t Wait to File a Report
Injuries at work can be tricky. Sometimes you don’t sense exactly how injured you are until days later. Perhaps you don’t feel much pain or you hope that the pain will decrease and soon go away. In other instances, employees are afraid to file a report — or they simply don’t know where to begin. Whatever the reason, neglecting to file a report is a big mistake. Failure to report an accident is a common reason employers and insurance carriers try to deny cases. When a workman’s comp case is denied with a Form 61, the insurance carrier is essentially refusing to pay for medical treatment and workers compensation benefits, which means the injured worked is prematurely forced to return to work in pain because he or she cannot afford to be out of work — and often cannot afford the medical treatment.
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
When you are injured at work, report the accident immediately. When you do, insist on a written incident report and be sure to s
eek medical treatment to corroborate your claim. Do not wait months or even weeks to make it known that you were injured at work. And don’t allow fear of being fired or reprimanded prevent you from reporting the incident in a timely manner.
If you have any questions or concerns about the steps to take following an injury at work, the legal team at Oxner + Permar is here to help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Workers’ Compensation: Why hire an attorney?
When it comes to workers’ compensation, I know many clients think they can go it alone: that they’ll save money in the long run by not hiring an attorney and trying to figure the process out for themselves. While at first this might seem like a cost efficient way to go, there are a few things people don’t consider when they chose not to hire an attorney.
Say you try to go it alone and you run into a problem with your workman’s compensation. You realize that you missed a vital step along the way, or the insurance company is refusing to fully cover you. You may even realize your injury is more extensive than you had initially thought and now need additional coverage. While filing the paperwork may have been easy, going back and fixing these problems is much more difficult. It’s at this point that you would hire an attorney.
What many people don’t realize is that the fee for an attorney is the same whether we’re working your case for two years or two months. Generally the fee is about 25 percent of the settlement. This means that it makes much more sense to obtain an attorney earlier in the process.
An experienced attorney will help you avoid potential problems and navigate the pitfalls of obtaining workers’ comp benefits. This ensures a smooth process and helps ensure that you’re receiving the most benefits with the shortest wait possible. At Oxner + Permar we have extensive experience with workers’ comp cases, so we know what to look for when it comes to dealing with a workman’s comp case.
An attorney’s fee is taken from the settlement and therefore the same whether we work with you for two months or two years. Having an experienced attorney on your side can mean the difference between a headache of a case and a smooth, easy process.