The Texas Tribune filed a detailed report on a very tragic case of an elderly woman who lost her leg in a car accident. The accident occurred when she was commuting home from a work meeting in Houston. Jane Hays, who as an employee worked managing insurance claims, was critically injured when another vehicle crossed the highway and hit her at around seventy miles per hour. Her workers’ compensation claim has been denied due to the fact the the accident occurred when she was travelling home from work and therefore was not considered to be ‘on the job’ at the time of the accident. If you have been injured driving somewhere necessary for work, or injured in relation to your work duties in any way, contact an experienced San Antonio work injury law firm today.
Injured While Commuting to Work: The ‘Course and Scope’ Standard
According to her official denial letter, Jane Hays could not recover workers’ compensation because her injury was not sustained in the ‘course and scope’ of her employment. The course and scope standard dates back to the original Texas Workers’ Compensation law over one hundred years ago. The standard states that anything done by an employee in furtherance of the business affairs of the employer is to be considered within the course and scope of the job. And further, it does not matter whether or not the employee was actually on the employer’s premises at the time of the injury.
Is Commuting Covered by Workers Comp?
Based on the original definition of ‘course and scope’ it sounds like commuting should be covered. In reality under current interpretation of the Texas Labor Code there is a significant grey area. An employee who is travelling for business reasons and who is using transportation that was paid for by the employer is generally considered to be on the job. Jane Hays was being reimbursed for her mileage by her employer and was returning home from an employer mandated business meeting when the accident took place. The dispute over the case is in the early stages, but there is reason to believe that Jane Hays might be able to prevail. If you were injured in a car accident on your way to work, or in relation to your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
Contact An Experienced Texas Work Injury Attorney
There are a lot of grey areas in Texas work injury law, an experienced workplace injury attorney is crucial to protect your rights. This case demonstrates that the battle that injured Texas workers are forced to fight is never easy. Workers’ compensation claims are often fought against very hard by the state and insurers. It is important the we protect the rights of every worker, anyone injured on the job must be fully and fairly compensated. If you, or your loved one, is about to file for workers’ compensation or you feel that your claim was unfairly denied, contact and experienced attorney as soon as possible.