Visitor Question

Will this worker’s car accident claim be covered?

Submitted By: John (Casper, Wyoming)

A custodian was on his way to work two hours early to remove snow, was in a car accident and injured his wrist. He has not been to work for 3 days, and informed me that he is filing for workman’s compensation. He has a doctor’s note that states that he is, “not to return to work until further notice.”

First, will his days be covered under workman’s comp? Please explain why or why not. Second, can I request that the doctor provide more detail about his injury, and a more specific return date for either full duty or light duty? Thank you.

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 John,

Based on the facts, the custodian does not have a credible claim against you or your business for workers compensation benefits. Generally speaking, for a worker to be entitled to workers comp, the worker must have been injured “while acting within the scope of their employment.”

Clearly, the custodian was not acting within his scope of employment when he was injured in the car accident. As a result, he is not entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

However, in the event you, or a person within the company with authority to direct the custodian to stop and pick up cleaning products, or otherwise stop and engage in an activity which benefited the company, it is arguable the custodian was acting within the scope of his employment when the car accident occurred.

It is important to note, if the custodian was asked to pick up cleaning products, or was acting at the behest of a person in authority, and the car accident occurred when the custodian veered from the normal route to the store or place of employment, then it is arguable he was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the car accident and therefore would not be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

The controlling Wyoming statute in this case can be found at:
Wyoming Revised Statutes, Section 27-14-104

In then event the custodian files a Report of Injury claim, you must report the injury to the Wyoming Division of Workers Compensation, and must do so within (10) days after receiving the Report. After doing so, the workers comp insurance company will review the claim. When they do, it will likely be denied if it is shown he was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the car accident.

Learn more here: Car Accidents at Work

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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