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Employer "ultra rigid" in workers' comp denial, court finds for employee

Court finds in favor of an employee after employer attempts to deny workers' comp coverage.
 
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    February 20, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Employer "ultra rigid" in workers' comp denial, court finds for employee

A case out of New Jersey can provide a lesson for employers across the country. In the case, an employee was leaving her job when she was involved in a car accident. More specifically, the majority of her vehicle had left the employer's garage when she was hit by an oncoming vehicle. The employee's car was struck as she attempted to merge from the garage onto the city roadway. The employee was injured and filed a claim for workers' compensation.

The employer denied the workers' compensation claim, stating the employee was no longer on their property at the time of the accident. As a result, they argued, she was not covered by the protections offered under workers' compensation. The court disagreed. Ultimately, the court found in favor of the employee, stating the employer was "ultra rigid" in its determination, according to a recent report by USA Today. The ruling in favor of the employee was based primarily on two principles:
-Policy. The employer had a strict policy of requiring employees to remain on the job until they physically leave the premise. Since a portion of the employee's vehicle was still on the premise, it could be argued she was still on the job.
-Location. At the time of the accident, one foot of the employee's vehicle remained on the employer's property. Even without the strict interpretation from the employee's handbook, employees injured while on work property generally fall within the scope of workers' comp protections.

Although this case is interesting, it is important to note that these are just two of many factors that can lead to a successful workers' compensation claim.

Lessons for workers' compensation claims in Arizona

Workers' compensation laws vary by state. In Arizona, employers are generally required to have workers' compensation insurance coverage. If an employee is injured in a workplace accident, he or she can file a claim to receive compensation to help cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses as well as lost wages.

Employers who believe, like the employer above, that the claim is not valid can outline their reasons for these concerns on an Employer's Report of Industrial Injury form. In addition, the employer will also provide this information to the employer's workers' compensation insurance provider.

If a claim is denied, the employee has options for recourse. The employee can appeal the decision to the Industrial Commission. This will likely lead to a hearing, structured similar in style to a trial. During the hearing, depositions will be provided, expert testimony may be given and a cross-examination may also occur. Navigating through the intricacies of this process can be overwhelming. The help better ensure your chances of success; it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced Arizona workers' compensation attorney.

Article provided by Crossman Law Offices, P.C.
Visit us at www.azworkinjury.com



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