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I Was Injured at Work . . .

. . . but not while doing something strictly work-related. Am I still eligible for workers’ compensation?

For an injury to be compensable under New York’s Workers’ Compensation law, it must have arisen both out of and in the course of employment. The test for eligibility is whether the activities of the employee are both reasonable and sufficiently work related under the circumstances. However, the course of employment is not strictly limited to the exact time when an employee commences his duties. Rather, it encompasses a reasonable amount of time for the employee to enter the place of employment prior to the beginning of a shift.

In the Matter of Inergy, LP, an employee clocked in 15 minutes prior to the start of his shift. He went to retrieve his leftover lunch from a different site within the employer’s property where he had been working the day before. The claimant rode his motorcycle on the access road to the other building, and sustained multiple injuries when he struck a deer.

In this case, the Workers’ Compensation Law Judge found that the injuries occurred within the course of employment because the claimant had punched in and was preparing to begin his day. The Full Board who reviewed the decision agreed that the accident occurred in the course of employment, noting that the injury occurred on the employer’s premises, a short time before the claimant’s shift, he had already punched in, and he was not engaged in horseplay at the time of his accident.

Whether an injured worker is entitled to compensation depends on the circumstances of the case. If you have been injured on the job, consult a knowledgeable NY workers’ compensation attorney who can evaluate your unique situation and provide effective legal representation to get you the compensation you deserve. Se habla español.

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