Liability for injury on the way to a job-sponsored charitable event?
I was with a group from work on the way to a job-sponsored charitable event. We stopped at a restaurant to grab a bite, while still on the clock. As we entered, something blew up, causing me to be struck by flying debris. I went to the emergency room and was x-rayed and received pain meds.
My employer said they are not responsible for my injuries, and I need to make the restaurant pay. The restaurant gave me info to file for the ER visit, but expects me to pay out-of-pocket for any further medical care and medications, then bill them afterwards. I am not yet covered by health insurance at work.
Who is ultimately responsible for this? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Liability for injury on the way to a job-sponsored charitable event?":
Your employer may be wrong. If your employer knew you would be stopping for lunch, and doing so was part of your job duties, then your employer's workers' compensation should cover your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and about two-thirds of your lost wages.
In most cases, workers injured on their lunch breaks are not covered by workers' compensation. There are some exceptions, and they occur when an employer insists a worker continue to perform their normal job duties while the worker is eating his or her lunch.
This is where your facts may fall. If your employer insisted you perform your job duties while eating, then you should be covered under workers' comp. From the facts you present, if you were strategizing, reviewing the afternoon's work, or otherwise pursuing your job duties, then you have a good case for coverage under workers' comp.
If that's the case, you may be able to have your fellow employees act as witnesses on your behalf.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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