Visitor Question

Is my employer responsible for my medical bills if I fell on my lunch break?

Submitted By: Lisa (Dallas, Georgia)

I work out of my employer’s home and had just signed out for lunch break. I was walking up the side of house and picked up a brick they said I could have. I slipped on the wet grass and the brick fell on my foot and fractured my toe.

I told my employer what happened and left work early that day. I went back to work the following day and told him I think I broke my toe and wanted to go to the hospital. I went and they confirmed I fractured my toe.

Today I asked if I had to fill out an incident report and received a letter instead stating I was at their residence (not working as I signed out for lunch) and said I wasn’t on the clock. Is my employer responsible for my medical bills? What can I do here?

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 Lisa,

Under Georgia law, employers with three (3) or more workers are required to carry workers compensation insurance. Based on the facts, it is unclear whether you were one of several workers employed at the time of your injury, or if you were the only worker.

In almost all cases, workers who are injured on their way to or from work, or who are injured during a lunch break are not covered by workers compensation insurance. As a result, even if your employer carried workers comp insurance at the time of your injury, you would likely not be entitled to medical and wage loss benefits.

For more information on Georgia Workers Compensation matters see: Georgia Workers Compensation – Question and Answers.

The next issue would be one of homeowner negligence. If it can be shown the homeowner was negligent, and as a result of such negligence you were injured, then you might have the basis of a personal injury claim, separate and apart from a workers comp claim.

Unfortunately, it can be successfully argued that slipping on wet grass, even while carrying a brick, does not constitute homeowner negligence. If anything, you should have been especially careful while carrying a heavy object. Absent negligence, your personal injury claim will likely not succeed.

Learn more here: Off-the-Clock Work Related Injuries

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 with your claim,

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