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Can I Get Workers' Comp For Injuries at a Company Picnic?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on May 22, 2015 9:55 AM

You can get workers' compensation for injuries at work, but are you covered for injuries at the annual company picnic?

Company picnics are full of hazards. You could twist an ankle while walking through the park. You could sprain your back defending the marketing team's dodge ball championship title. You could get food poisoning chowing down on barbeque and the CEO's famous potato salad.

Can you get workers' compensation for injuries received at a company picnic?

Work Related

Workers' compensation covers work-related injuries and illnesses. An injury is work related if it is caused by your normal work duties or the conditions of your workplace. A pre-existing injury is also covered if your work aggravated the prior injury.

Company Events

Accordingly, your injury at the company picnic is only covered if it is work related. A company picnic may be work related if:

  • You are required to attend -- This is easy. If your boss says you have to be there, then the event is work, and injuries caused there are likely to be work related.
  • You are being paid -- Even if the event is voluntary, if the employer is still paying your wages while you attend the event, then your injuries at the party are also more likely to be work related.
  • You mix business and work -- Before you can eat, your employer gives some presentations, passes out some rewards and bonuses, and talks about plans for next year. The employer is deriving some benefit from your attendance at the company picnic. So, the picnic is within the course of employment.

However, if the company picnic is entirely voluntary, you will not be able to get workers' compensation for your injuries.

Injured at the Party

If you are injured at a company picnic, see a doctor and get treatment as soon as possible. Then, notify your employer of your injury and file for workers' compensation. Most states impose a deadline on when you have to file a claim.

If you've been denied compensation for a company picnic injury, an experienced workers compensation attorney may be able to help.

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