Suppose you clock in at work and begin your daily job duties, but you suddenly fall and break your leg.
There is little doubt you will be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, it becomes a little less cut and dry if you fall while off the clock.
Generally, employees injured off the clock or in a manner not related to their work responsibilities are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but that is not always the case.
Minnesota employers will vigorously defend these claims whenever they can.
Because of this, it is imperative to speak to an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney immediately upon injury.
What Happens If I Fall at Work?
A common question we are asked is if you fall at work, is it workers’ comp? The short answer is that it might be.
One of the first things you should do after seeking medical attention is to speak with an attorney to determine if you are eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Under Minnesota Law, work-related injuries must arise out of and occur in the course of your employment.
Generally, injuries sustained while off the clock are not eligible for benefits. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
When determining eligibility, common questions your attorney may ask you include:
- Was the activity you were engaged in for the benefit of your employer? For instance, were you purchasing office supplies at Staples?
- Did your employer or supervisor ask you to perform this task (e.g., meet them for a lunch meeting)?
- Were you attending a work-related or work-required event, such as a company-sponsored golf outing or a continuing education workshop?
- What was the location of your fall? Did you fall while entering or leaving the building or parking lot?
A good rule of thumb is the more work-related your off-the-clock activity was, the more likely you are to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Common Examples of Off-the-Clock Work Injuries
Many off-the-clock injuries are eligible for a workers’ comp claim. The following is not exhaustive.
Traveling to and from Work
In Minnesota, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are injured while traveling to and from work.
For instance, if your job requires you to travel, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits due to injuries sustained during your travels.
Generally, employers are required to provide safe entry and exit from the work premise.
For example, you may have a claim if you slip on ice while walking to or from your car from the workplace’s parking lot.
There is no definitive list of off-the-clock activities that workers’ comp may cover. Instead, the court uses multiple factors to determine eligibility for your fall at work.
To put it another way, the determination of whether your injury is work-related is very fact specific.
Speaking with a knowledgeable Minnesota workers’ comp attorney is the best way to gauge whether your injury may qualify for benefits.
Injured Off the Clock? Call Arechigo & Stokka
Since 2007, Arechigo & Stokka has been helping individuals hurt at work receive the benefits and compensation they deserve.
With hundreds of cases under our belt, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to assist you with any Minnesota workers’ compensation claim.
We are a small firm with great results and offer our clients individualized personal attention to their cases. You will never be passed off or dismissed.
You might have legal recourse if you suffered an injury while working off the clock. Focus on your recovery. Let us handle the rest.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options today.
Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result. Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.