If you were one of the unlucky many that sat on the interstate for hours on end last Tuesday trying to get home, we feel for you and hope that you have now recovered and, if necessary, retrieved your car (hopefully without a fine). Some workers may have been stuck even longer and some may have been injured while trying to get to their car or while driving home. Falls on ice are painful and all too common in the weather conditions we saw last week. In January of 2011 Atlanta had an ice storm that paralyzed the city (although not in the same way this storm did). At that time we wrote a blog post about the common injuries that are often sustained while workers are attempting to get to and from their car to the building and the Employer’s responsibility regarding same. The highlights are:
… if a restaurant hostess, cook, or waitress (who was on the clock) slipped on an icy patch near or at the restaurant, the accident would likely be covered under workers’ compensation. It does not matter if the worker was “at fault” or if he or she was not wearing the proper shoes at the time. There are exceptions to this general rule. For example, if the employee was intoxicated or engaged in “horseplay”, the claim would likely be denied.
Additionally, if the worker just parked her car and she slipped on the ice in the parking lot, that accident would likely be covered under workers’ compensation. The same is true if the employee is walking to her car after her shift and slipped in the employer’s parking lot. In these situations, the closer the injury occurred while still “on the clock” the more likely the claim will be accepted under workers’ compensation.
By the same token, if the employee was involved in a car or motor vehicle accident while delivering goods or services, the accident may be covered under workers’ compensation. Again, this is regardless of whether the employee was at fault. The exceptions to this rule are when the “accident” was intentionally or recklessly caused by the employee, or if the employee was intoxicated and the intoxication caused the accident. For example, consider a pizza delivery person in route to a delivery. He slides on an icy patch of the road and hits a telephone pole, or he is hit by another driver. The pizza delivery person injures his back as result of the accident. This injury would likely be covered under workers’ compensation, and he would be entitled to medical and income benefits. Also, if he was not at fault, he may also have a claim against the other driver in addition to workers’ compensation.
If you were injured in last week’s storm, give us a call at (404) 355-3431 for your free consultation.