My sister and I both work at a hospital. Her husband had surgery. After visiting him, she left to go home from this same hospital.
The curbs are uneven and not well lighted at night. She tripped and now has multiple fractures in her shoulder. As a phlebotomist, she no longer can work until healed.
Would this be covered under workers’ comp since it was at her workplace, but she was off the clock on a personal visit?
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Since your sister’s trip occurred outside of work hours, it is likely not covered under Texas’ workers’ compensation system. However, she might have a negligence claim with the owner of the parking lot where she tripped.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program. To receive benefits, you don’t have to prove that your employer or a co-worker contributed to your work injury in any way.
But workers do have to show that they were injured in the course of their employment. Put another way, an employee has to establish a causal relationship between their job and their injury.
Injured workers have the burden of proof to show that an injury resulted from their employment.
Here, it’s likely that your sister couldn’t meet this burden of proof. Your email states that she was off the clock at the time of her injury. While she was injured at her place of employment, she was at the hospital as a visitor and not as an employee.
The Texas Department of Insurance’s website is an excellent resource for workers, with plenty of information on eligibility requirements for filing a workers’ comp claim.
Personal Injury Claims
Negligence means a person or entity failed to act reasonably under the circumstances.
In the context of a trip and fall case, a property owner is negligent if it is aware of a dangerous condition and fails to remove or remedy it.
The key elements of negligence are:
- Duty of care: The at-fault person or business had a duty to avoid causing harm to you and others.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault person breached their duty by doing something wrong or failing to do what any reasonable person would do in the same circumstances.
- Cause: The at-fault person’s breach of their duty of care is the proximate cause of your injuries.
- Damages: You have verifiable injuries, supported by medical bills, medical records, and evidence of emotional distress.
Here, the parking lot owner has a duty to provide its customers with a reasonably safe environment at night. But since the area was not lit well and the curbs were uneven, there’s a chance that the owner breached its duty. Both conditions present a dangerous situation that the owner, had it known about them, should have fixed.
If the owner did breach its duty, your sister could establish the other elements of negligence. The owner’s breach arguably caused her injuries, and she suffered verifiable harm.
Learn more here: Personal Injury vs. Workers' Comp
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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