Visitor Question

Fell on ice in a client’s driveway and injured before I clocked in?

Submitted By: A (USA)

I work for a Home Health Agency agency, for which I go to clients’ homes and provide care. I go to several clients per day. I arrived at my first location and when I stepped out of my car I fell on ice at the client’s home (in their driveway). I had not clocked in yet, and the property is not owned or controlled by my employer.

Does this qualify as a workers’ compensation injury? Is my employer responsible for filing a workers’ comp claim? Thanks for any information you can give.

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.

Answer

Dear A,

It is unlikely your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. Under most circumstances, employees are not covered by workers’ comp insurance until such time as they begin their work day. Injuries sustained while commuting back and forth to work normally do not qualify.

There is though, an exception worth reviewing…

If you had been injured after your first patient visit and while you were driving to, or arriving at your second patient’s residence, you might be covered, especially as driving to the next patient’s home is likely part of your work duties.

From the facts you present, you do seem to have a viable claim against the patient’s homeowners insurance. You were injured on the patient’s property in her driveway.

Fortunately, under homeowner’s insurance an injured party does not have to prove the homeowner was negligent. All the injured party has to show is he or she was injured on the property. Exceptions would be if an injured party was engaging in irresponsible, reckless, or dangerous activities. It is obvious you were not involved in such activities.

You can ask the homeowner for the policy number and contact information for the homeowners insurance company and file your injury claim there. You should not have any problem recovering compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Homeowners insurance normally doesn’t pay for pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 16, 2015

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