On Your Side After An Injury

Vehicle was partially on employer’s property, so workers’ comp OKed

For people who work in a set location, like a factory or an office, an injury that can qualify the sufferer for workers’ compensation generally must take place at that workplace. This is the rule in Missouri and in most of the country. Injuries sustained during the commute to and from the job usually are not considered “work injuries” under workers’ compensation law.

However, you are not gone from work until you are completely gone — at least, according to a New Jersey court of appeals. A two-judge panel has ruled in favor of an Atlantic City casino employee, saying that she is entitled to workers’ compensation because her car was still partially in the casino’s driveway when she was hurt in a car accident.

The worker was a dealer for Harrah’s Atlantic City in September 2012. One night, she was leaving after her shift. She began to turn out of the casino’s driveway, but crashed into a car. USA TODAY did not mention the nature of her injuries, but they were apparently severe enough that she had to miss work.

She filed a workers’ compensation claim, but Harrah’s contested that claim. The employer claimed that the accident occurred outside of its property, and therefore it was not liable.

The dispute went before a workers’ compensation judge, who ruled in the dealer’s favor in May 2013, Harrah’s appealed, but the appellate court upheld the decision. It ruled that the one foot of the dealer’s car that remained in the parking lot at the time of the crash was enough to qualify it as a work accident.

Source: USA TODAY, “Casino dealer wins workers’ comp fight by a foot,” Jim Walsh, Jan. 22, 2014