Workers’ compensation may or may not cover accidental injuries that took place in the parking lot of your workplace or while you were running work-related errands, depending on whether you were on the clock.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance must pay for the treatment of injuries that you suffer while working at your place of employment. Many workers’ compensation disputes center on whether the workers’ ongoing symptoms are the result of the work accident, as opposed to pre-existing health conditions. In other workers’ comp disputes, the point of contention was whether the employee was actually at work when the accident happened. This might sound like a straightforward matter, but what if you got hurt while walking in the parking lot of your workplace, toward your employer-issued parking space? What if you were injured in a car accident while on the way to buy office supplies, during your work shift and at your employer’s instruction. Oklahoma law says that workers’ compensation does not cover injuries sustained during the worker’s commute, but case law shows that it is not always that simple. An Oklahoma City workers’ compensation lawyer can help you if you get injured while doing your job at a location other than your usual workplace.
Oklahoma Supreme Court Decisions About Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Workers Injured on the Periphery of the Workplace
Several decisions by the Oklahoma Supreme Court have addressed this issue:
- Annette’s employer, a university, required her to park in the employee parking lot. One day, she slipped and fell on an icy curb after parking in the parking lot to report to work. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that, because Annette had already arrived at the location where her employer had required her to park, she was already working, and it requires workers’ compensation to pay her claim.
- Austin was employed at a construction site in a remote area, and he and his co-workers carpooled for the 45-minute commute. Austin was injured when his car got into a collision at the exit from the interstate nearest to the job site. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that his employer was not responsible for paying his claim, since Austin was commuting at the time of the accident.
- Darlene was a staff member at a school. Her employer authorized her to take a cigarette break while on the clock but required her to walk to a nearby street before smoking, so as not to violate rules about smoking near schools. Darlene tripped on the sidewalk and got injured while walking back to the school. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the employer was responsible for paying her claim, since she was on the clock when the accident happened.
Contact BDIW Law About Offsite Work Injuries
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you resolve disputes about whether you were commuting to your job or already at work when the accident happened. Contact BDIW Law in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma or call (405)886-9660.