Workers’ Compensation 6 : Scope of Employment

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Q: Because my husband had a heart condition, his employer arranged for him to park in a parking lot directly across the street from the office so that he could avoid walking a long distance.  One morning, after parking his car, while walking across the street to get to the office, my husband was struck by a truck.

Afterwards, I filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits on his behalf as well as a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits.  The Workers’ Compensation Board ruled that the accident did not arise ‘out of and in the course of’ my husband’s employment – and so no benefits.

A: To be compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Law, an employee’s injury and resulting death must arise ‘out of and in the course of’ his or her employment.  Generally, accidents occurring on the public highway, away from the place of employment and outside regular working hours, do not qualify.

Here, the risk of being struck by vehicular traffic in this location was shared by the public in general and was not specific to this place of employment.  Furthermore, you do not indicate that the route your husband traveled to cross the street was a route controlled, endorsed or anticipated by the employer or was otherwise associated with access to his workplace.  Unless there is something that you have not told me, the courts will agree that this was not a work-related accident.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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