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Tampa Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > Florida Workers’ Comp Claim Denied Because of Horseplay: What Now?

Florida Workers’ Comp Claim Denied Because of Horseplay: What Now?


While there are many potential reasons for denied workers’ comp claims in Florida, horseplay is probably one of the most confusing. The term itself sounds old and archaic, and the modern worker may have no idea what it even means. However, it is important to gain an understanding of not only horseplay, but also its potential effect on your claim. If your claim was denied because of horseplay, you might want to discuss your situation alongside a qualified, experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa.

What Exactly IS Horseplay? 

Horseplay has many definitions. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, horseplay is “rough or boisterous play.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “noisy, physically active behavior,” and provides the example of “pushing each other as a joke.” Although the origin of the phrase is unclear, it first arose in the 1500s. Linguists believe that it refers to the leaping, bucking behavior of horses.

Florida does not have a clear legal definition of horseplay. That said, horseplay is a potential defense strategy used by employers and insurers to avoid paying out settlements. In other words, you might lose the right to receive a workers’ compensation claim if your injury was caused by horseplay.

The real question is whether your horseplay contributed to your injuries to such an extent that it prevents you from receiving much-needed compensation.

How Can I Defend Myself Against Allegations of Horseplay? 

If you have been accused of horseplay prior to your workplace injury, you can take numerous steps to refute these claims and secure your compensation. The obvious step is to prove that no horseplay actually occurred. The incident may have been completely fabricated, misunderstood, or exaggerated.

Another option is to accept that the horseplay occurred, but argue that it did not play a substantial role in your injuries. Numerous past cases have shown that horseplay does not “automatically” prevent you from recovering compensation. In one case, a judge ruled that employees who threw nails at each other were “stupid” while still allowing them to receive compensation for their subsequent injuries.

Florida courts have a track record of allowing workers to receive compensation after horseplay-related incidents. The general consensus is that “frivolous activities” are to be expected among workers. This is especially true when the work becomes boring or repetitive, as humans naturally attempt to lighten the mood in these situations.

The general rule is that if your horseplay caused you to abandon your work duties completely, it may prevent you from recovering a settlement. If you were still carrying out your duties during the horseplay, however, you should still receive compensation.

Appeal Your Denied Workers’ Comp Claim 

If your Florida workers’ compensation claim was denied because of horseplay or any other reason, get in touch with The Franco Law Firm today. With our help, you can appeal your denied claim, pursue the compensation you deserve, and cover your damages. The definition of “horseplay” is somewhat vague in Florida, and you have the right to refute any claims made against you. Reach out today, book a consultation, and get started with an action plan.




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