When Workers’ Compensation Coverage Does Not Apply
When a person suffers a workplace injury in Tampa, they can often be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits as long as they report the injury to their employer within 30 days, and as long as the injury arose out of the worker’s employment. There are, however, some exceptions that can limit a worker’s ability to obtain compensation following what an employee might perceive to be an on-the-job injury. To be clear, under Florida law, there are clear compensability limitations for injuries sustained during recreational and social activities. In addition, any injury that occurs while an employee is going to or coming from work is not compensable. The statute also cites injuries that result from deviation from employment, as well as subsequent intervening accidents. Our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers can say more about these common scenarios in which injuries may not be compensable through the Florida workers’ compensation system.
Recreational and Social Activity Injuries
Generally speaking, employees who get hurt while engaged in recreational or social activities — even those connected to the job in some capacity — are not compensable unless the employee can show two key requirements. First, the recreational or social activity must have been an “expressly required incident of employment” and it must have produced “a substantial direct benefit to the employer beyond improvement in employee health and morale that is common to all kinds of recreation and social life.”
Going or Coming Injuries
Injuries that happen when an employee is going to or coming from work are not compensable unless an exception applies. Under Florida law, “going or coming” injuries are only compensable when the employee “was engaged in a special errand or mission for the employer.” In other words, when a worker is going into work or leaving work — whether in their own vehicle, the vehicle of another party, or on public transit — any injury that occurs is not compensable unless the employee is running an errand for the employer while coming or going.
Injuries Resulting from Deviation from Employment
When an employee gets hurt on the job while doing something that deviates from the course of their employment, the injury is not compensable. Examples of activities that might be considered to deviate from the course of employment can include engaging in activities in the workplace that are prohibited or leaving the employer’s premises while on the clock.
Subsequent Intervening Accidents That Cause Injuries
Injuries that result from “subsequent intervening accidents” are also not compensable under Florida workers’ compensation law. What are subsequent intervening accidents? According to the Florida Statutes, these are accidents that arise from an “outside agency” and are “the direct and natural consequence of the original injury.” The only listed exception is if a subsequent intervening accident happens while the employee is “traveling to or from a health care provider for the purpose of receiving remedial treatment for the compensable injury.”
Contact a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have any questions or concerns about seeking workers’ compensation benefits, or if you need to determine whether your injury is likely to be compensable, a lawyer can help. One of the experienced Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys at the Franco Law Firm can evaluate your case for you today and can help you to seek compensation following a work injury.