The annual company holiday party is usually a time to relax and enjoy the company of your co-workers. You celebrate the year’s accomplishments and take a break from the usual stresses of work. It may all go well until someone gets hurt. Maybe they get burned by a hot liquid or they slip and fall. If this happens, you may wonder if workers’ comp in Louisiana applies to this situation. It’s best to contact a Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer for specific advice. However, this blog post will highlight some of the questions which need to be asked. We’ll begin by explaining exactly what workers’ compensation is.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to employees who suffer injuries on the job. It covers both physical injuries resulting from accidents and occupational diseases as well as mental conditions. Benefits can include compensation for medical care, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. These are paid to the employee by the employer or their workers’ compensation insurer.
With limited exceptions, every employer must pay for the medical care and lost wages of workers who were injured in the course of employment. Most employers are covered from the first day they start their job. It doesn’t matter if they are seasonal, part-time or full-time. Even minors can benefit from workers’ comp in Louisiana. Some independent contractors and subcontractors may also be considered employees. However, real estate salespeople, domestic workers, directors of non-profits and some other individuals are not eligible. Volunteer workers aren’t entitled to benefits.
Considerations Regarding Holiday Parties
If someone suffers injuries at a work event during the holiday season, a number of questions have to be asked. They all center around whether the person was acting within the scope and course of their employment. Employers who are reluctant to file a claim with their workers’ comp insurer will likely argue that the party was not within the scope of employment. Some of the questions which may be posed in this scenario are:
- Were workers expected or mandated to attend the party?
- If the party was optional, were employees required to work if they didn’t go?
- Were workers paid to attend the event?
- Did the injury occur on company property?
- Did the injury occur because of unsafe conditions that the employer knew of but didn’t address?
- Were clients present at the event?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s possible that the injury is covered. However, there’s no guarantee. It’s important to seek the advice of an experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer.
Preventing Injuries at Workplace Parties This Holiday Season
It’s always better to prevent an injury than seek to get compensation after you’ve been hurt. Not every injury is preventable. However, there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of an injury. To be on the safe side, it’s best to:
- Avoid drinking too much. If you become intoxicated, you’re more likely to injure yourself. You may slip and fall or take part in risky behaviors. If you decide to drink alcohol, do so in moderation so you don’t put your safety, reputation or job on the line.
- Avoid horseplay. It’s natural that you’ll want to let your hair down. However, many injuries are caused by horseplay. Even a playful nudge in a crowded room may be enough to create a problem. It’s a party but you’re surrounded by colleagues and possibly clients so it’s important to be on your best behavior.
- Don’t attempt to do things you’ve never done before. This isn’t the time to show off your acrobatic moves or prove you can spend all night on the dancefloor. Keep your wits about you and do everything in moderation.
Contact a Skilled Lawyer for Workers’ Comp in Louisiana to Discuss Your Needs
If you suffered injuries at your office party, you need to talk to experienced workers’ comp lawyers. Your employer or their insurance company may seek to nullify your claim. They may argue that your injury didn’t occur within the scope of your duties. There may be instances where this is true. However, you won’t be able to assess the situation on your own. If you want to have the best chance of getting compensation for your injuries, you’ll need a lawyer.
We’ll look at the evidence relating to your case and do everything we can to protect your rights when it comes to workers’ comp in Louisiana. You shouldn’t have to deal with the cost of medical care alone or go into financial difficulty. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.