If an injury or an accident would not have happened if you weren’t already injured in the first place, then workers’ comp should pay for it.
Many times an injured worker is taken off work and is further injured at home. Or someone may sustain another accident and injury while traveling to a medical appointment or picking up their medications. Does workers’ compensation coverage extend to these additional accidents and injuries?
In Nebraska, it does.
For example, Mr. Smidt slipped and fell on the ice at his home when he returned from physical therapy; Ms. Baker was involved in a motor-vehicle collision going to her doctor’s appointment. Mr. Johnson, who had a broken ankle, fell down his stairs because he lost his balance, so he sustained another fracture injury. These are common scenarios of a worker who gets injured at work and sustains further injuries or another accident as a result of the original work accident.
These events can be described as “quasi-course of employment” and focus on the activities and circumstances that an injured employee encounters following an injury, though they take place outside the time and space limits of a worker’s normal employment.
Even though these events would not be considered employment activities for usual purposes, they are nevertheless related to the employment in the sense that they are necessary and/or reasonable activities that would not have been undertaken if not for the original compensable accident and injury.
If you or a friend has something like this happen but the insurance carrier is not taking responsibility for the additional injury and medical care, contact an experienced attorney to investigate and file a claim. Protect yourself, your friends, and your family from paying for shouldering medical expenses for additional injuries that are compensable.
Nebraska requires under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-139 that all workers compensation settlements involving workers not represented by counsel be approved by the workers compensation court. Last week I came across an example of why this law is good policy.
Luckily for my client, this “agreement” is not valid so he can compensated to the full extent of the law for his work injuries.
I signed up a client who was injured in a roof collapse while doing demolition work at a local bar last Sunday. The employer drafted a “full satisfaction and release” of client’s work comp claim for $45 and for payment of my client’s emergency room visit the day of the accident. For an injured worker without health insurance the prospect of having not having potentially expensive ER treatment paid for is a powerful incentive not to pursue their rights under their jurisdiction’s workers compensation statute. Luckily for my client, this “agreement” is not valid so he can compensated to the full extent of the law for his work injuries. In my experience, this type of interference with the exercise of an injured employee’s right to workers compensation is not typical. Thankfully, Nebraska law recognizes that some employers will try to interfere with an injured workers right to compensation and provides procedural safeguards to prevent employer abuse.