When exactly are you entitled to Workers Compensation benefits
The technical law states that:
§ 71-3-7. Liability for payment of compensation
(1) Compensation shall be payable for disability or death of an employee from injury or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment, without regard to fault as to the cause of the injury or occupational disease. An occupational disease shall be deemed to arise out of and in the course of employment when there is evidence that there is a direct causal connection between the work performed and the occupational disease.
In English, what this means first and foremost is that fault is not an issue, and that it only matters whether you were in the scope of employment at the time of the injury.
We talk to client everyday who spend most of their time explaining everything the employer did wrong that led to the injury. We listen, but unfortunately, unless it was intentional it makes no difference because fault is simply not an issue. If you get hurt at work for a covered employer, you get benefits. It’s that simple.
Scope of employment is not so simple. There are cases where you could be off the clock and in your own vehicle and still be covered if you fall under the traveling employee section. You may be off the clock and injured in the parking lot on the way to the car and still be covered. You may hurt your shoulder while doing therapy for a work related neck injury and still be covered for a new injury. There are many more examples that would challenge the definition of “scope of employment” but don’t be too quick to assume one way or another whether injury is or is not in the scope of employment. If you have had an injury, contact an attorney and get some free advice as to how the law applies to you.
Rogen K. Chhabra