Today’s post comes from guest author Paul J. McAndrew, Jr. from Paul McAndrew Law Firm in Iowa. Most temporary employees are treated the same as any other employee in Nebraska, Iowa, and many other states. There are a few exceptions in Nebraska that include some but not all agricultural workers, for example. If you have questions about a workers’ compensation situation, feel free to contact a workers’ comp attorney to be advised about the details of your case.
According to a recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court, a temporary employee cannot be excluded from an employers’ workers’ compensation policy.
In 2005, Rafael Casados was killed on his third day at work at a grain storage facility owned by Port Elevator-Brownsville L.L.C. Because Casados was a temporary employee of Port Elevator at the time of his death, he was initially awarded a liability ruling of $2.7 million directly from Port Elevator. However, according to the latest Supreme Court ruling, Casados’s family should receive remedy under Port Elevator’s workers’ compensation policy instead. Port Elevator’s insurance provider is liable for Casados’s death benefits, despite the fact that Port Elevator never paid workers’ compensation insurance for any of their temporary employees.
According to the decision: “If Port Elevator’s policy had set out certain premiums solely for temporary workers and Port Elevator had not paid those premiums, Casados would still have been covered under the policy and the failure to pay premiums would be an issue between Port Elevator (their insurance provider).”
If an injury or an accident would not have happened if you weren’t already injured in the first place, then workers’ comp should pay for it.
Many times an injured worker is taken off work and is further injured at home. Or someone may sustain another accident and injury while traveling to a medical appointment or picking up their medications. Does workers’ compensation coverage extend to these additional accidents and injuries?
In Nebraska, it does.
For example, Mr. Smidt slipped and fell on the ice at his home when he returned from physical therapy; Ms. Baker was involved in a motor-vehicle collision going to her doctor’s appointment. Mr. Johnson, who had a broken ankle, fell down his stairs because he lost his balance, so he sustained another fracture injury. These are common scenarios of a worker who gets injured at work and sustains further injuries or another accident as a result of the original work accident.
These events can be described as “quasi-course of employment” and focus on the activities and circumstances that an injured employee encounters following an injury, though they take place outside the time and space limits of a worker’s normal employment.
Even though these events would not be considered employment activities for usual purposes, they are nevertheless related to the employment in the sense that they are necessary and/or reasonable activities that would not have been undertaken if not for the original compensable accident and injury.
If you or a friend has something like this happen but the insurance carrier is not taking responsibility for the additional injury and medical care, contact an experienced attorney to investigate and file a claim. Protect yourself, your friends, and your family from paying for shouldering medical expenses for additional injuries that are compensable.
Here are five critical things to keep in mind if you ever find yourself injured while at work.
Report your injury immediately with as much detail as possible. Keep telling them until they fill out accident forms. Get copies of the forms if possible.
Seek medical treatment immediately with your family doctor if you have one. Tell the doctor that your injury is work-related and explain exactly how the injury happened. If a repetitive injury, explain what you do at your job. Then follow your doctor’s treatment plan and attend all medical appointments.
Get documentation of your work restrictions and keep a copy with you at work at all times. If an issue comes up about your ability to do a specific task notify your supervisor of your restrictions immediately. Don’t assume your human resources manager has informed every one of your specific restrictions.
You have the right to choose your own surgeon if surgery is recommended. Don’t assume the doctor your employer has chosen has your best interests at heart.
You have the right to receive compensation for the time from work you miss until you reach maximum healing from your injury. If it takes you more than a week to heal, keep that in mind.