To recover workers’ compensation benefits, an employee must suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of his or her employment. But what do “arising out of” and “in the course of” employment actually mean? The definitions are complicated and are constantly being developed by workers’ compensation judges. Getting a basic understanding of their meaning could help you understand why your injury qualifies you for workers’ comp.
The “Arising Out Of” Employment Requirement
First, an employee must suffer an injury arising out of his or her employment to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In other words, the employee needs to show that the injury actually resulted from employment activities.
Lawyers describe this requirement in terms of causation and risk analysis. They ask if the employee’s job exposes the employee to an increased risk of harm over a general member of the public. If so, then being employed in a particular job is causally linked to a particular kind of injury.
Employees seeking benefits often struggle to meet this requirement when they get injured in a parking lot, or while they are arriving or leaving the workplace. A member of the general public could have been injured from walking through a parking lot too – but maybe the employee had to cross a particularly icy sidewalk to turn off the building alarm. Slipping on the ice would be an increased risk of this job because the general public would not need to cross the sidewalk to turn off the alarm.
Further, employees with idiopathic injuries will struggle to meet this requirement. Idiopathic injuries are personal to an employee and arise unexpectedly. They may include heart attacks, aneurysms, or strokes.
The “In the Course Of” Employment Requirement
Second, an employee must suffer an injury in the course of his or her employment to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In other words, the employee needs to show that the injury happened (1) during the time he or she was working, (2) at a location related to work activities, and (3) while the employee was executing duties on behalf or for the benefit of the employer, or doing something related to those duties.
Employees seeking benefits often struggle to meet this requirement when they are injured during work breaks or while travelling for work. People may stop to do personal errands or group personal and work travel together.
To learn more about these two requirements for Minnesota workers’ compensation, speak to a local lawyer. You may realize that you need representation in your case for benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.