Everytime I get asked this, I wish there were a more straightforward answer. But the truth of the matter is that it really depends. In some situations, North Carolina courts tend to rule in favor of weather-related cases; in others, not so much. The outcomes of these workers’ comp claims tend to rely heavily on how directly related to your work the injury was.
In other words, the courts are looking for whether or not you would have been exposed to the same danger no matter whether you were at work or not.
In one case, the courts denied a claim in which an employee was injured at work when a tornado collapsed part of the building they were in. Basically, the court said that even though they were at work, their injury could have just as easily happened if they had been home. Their being at work did not cause the injury.
However, in another case, one worker died from heat exhaustion after working on a 104 degree day. The employee’s job required him to work near melted lead, which of course increased the temperature of the room he was in. Because of this, the court ruled that this situation was compensable.
When considering whether or not your weather-related injury is covered by workman’s compensation, it’s important to consider the causes of the injury. Was it caused directly by the nature of your job? Or was the injury just circumstantial? An experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not your case qualifies.