Visitor Question

Is my employer liable for my medical bills and time off after multiple on-the-job injuries?

Submitted By: Hunter (Fort Worth, Texas)

I sprained my ankle and tore ligaments while I was working. My supervisor took me to the emergency room and paid the bill. One week later, I was doing light office work and injured it again while at work.

Two weeks later, while walking to my truck after clocking out but still on my employers property, I re-injured my ankle. I ended up pulling the muscle away due to stepping on the rocky parking lot. Now I am in a boot and can’t work for a week.

Is the company liable for my medical bills and time off? I cannot perform my duties as I spray installation in attics.

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 Hunter,

Your on the job injury has been well-documented. Your supervisor was made aware of your initial injury and assisted you in obtaining medical treatment. Hopefully, you notified your supervisor once again when you re-injured your ankle while doing light office work. If so, the injury continues to be documented.

Be sure to immediately file Form DWC041 – Employees Claim for Compensation for a Work Related Injury. While the latest injury may be considered an aggravation of the initial injury, it is a good idea to file Form DWC041.

Employee injuries occurring in parking lots are often compensable under workers compensation laws. The legal basis for determining employer liability is dependent upon whether the injury occurs in the course of the employment and arises out of the employment. When the employer owns or exercises control over property and the employee becomes injured while going to and from their vehicle, the accident is usually deemed to have occurred at work and is compensable.

“Control” of the parking lot can include the employer’s financial contribution to the maintenance or security of the parking lot along with other business owners.

However, the situation becomes more complicated when the worker is involved in an accident in a parking lot not owned or controlled by the employer. In those instances, the courts traditionally look to whether the employer directed where the employee should park or how the employee should park his or her vehicle.

Based on the facts, your latest injury appears to be an aggravation of the initial injury. If that is the case, your benefits should be reinstated during the time you are unable to perform your normal and customary work duties.

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: October 23, 2017

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