Ask a Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorney: Does Colorado Cover Off-the-Clock Work Place Accidents?

Mar 16, 2015 | WC & Other Laws

Injury compensation, generally, takes care of your medical bills, medications, transportations costs, and other injury-related expenses. It will likewise cover around two-thirds of wages which you should have incurred if it were not for the injury. If your injury caused disability, a lump sum settlement is usually available. In case of death, the compensation will be given to surviving dependents. You need not worry about how to win a case because your Denver workers’ compensation attorney is here to assist you.

Employer liability for work place accidents

For an injured worker to claim workers’ compensation insurance benefits, the injury must be sustained within the scope of employment. This means that the injury must have happened while on the job or on the clock. Therefore, determining when a workday begins and ends is the heart of any workers’ compensation claim. This is where certain difficulty lies and where you need a Denver workers’ compensation lawyer.

A lot of states follow the principle that an injury incurred while in the course of employment is compensable. This principle requires that the injury be sustained within the time and place of the worker’s employment, and during an activity connected with his functions. Hence, even though an employee is outside of the workplace or beyond required working hours, as long as he is performing duties in relation to his job, the injury sustained during such period remains covered by workers’ compensation.

Colorado’s test for compensability

For an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation in Colorado, your Denver workers’ compensation lawyer must know the three things to be considered:

  • the injured worker is performing services for the employer,
  • such service is contemplated in his contract of employment, and
  • the service performed direct or indirectly benefits the employer.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in Madden v. Mountain West Fabricators (1999) that, generally, an injury sustained while going to or coming from work is not compensable because it is not considered arising out of and in the course of employment. The exception, however, happens when there is a causal connection between the employment and the injury that occurred during that going or coming period.

Thus, in case an injury arises out of yet remains in the course of employment, the worker must establish a causal connection between his work and the injury in such a way that the latter originates from work-related activities, and related to the functions set forth in the contract of employment.

Related: What If I Work in an Unsafe Workplace?

There is no clear and straightforward requirement for an injury to be considered to have stemmed out of and in the course of employment. However, the Colorado Supreme Court recognized its appellate court in delineating circumstances when the injury is covered by the going to or coming from work rule:

  1. When the duties of the employee requires him to travel;
  2. When the employee is on a business trip for the employer;
  3. When an employee reports to the regular place of business and is sent away on a special task; and
  4. When the contract of employment stipulates that going to or coming from work is covered by the employment.

For you to sufficiently establish your claim, you will need a Denver workers’ compensation attorney.

Workers’ compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex but with a Denver workers’ compensation lawyer, you are in good hands. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your free consultation.