Office holiday parties can be a lot of fun, but sometimes things get out of hand and people suffer injuries. Victims may wonder if they can pursue compensation for their injuries through the workers’ compensation system.
This is a complex issue you can discuss with an experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer from Schmidt Kramer. We represent workers who have been injured in various ways and understand the complexities of Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system.
What is a Work Injury?
A work injury is one that is caused by a person’s job. The injury must be related to your employment. Work injuries include accidental injuries, occupational diseases and conditions that are aggravated by your job.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to an injured employee when his or her injury or illness occurs within the course and scope of the job. Commonly-covered work injuries include:
- Accidents that occur on the job site during regular work hours
- Accidents that occur on company property
- Injuries caused while running an errand for your boss
If you suffered a work injury, you must report your accident within 120 days for it to be covered by workers’ compensation.
However, other injuries will not be considered “work injuries” and will likely not be covered by Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system. These may include:
- Injuries that occurred while you were not working
- Injuries that occurred while you were driving to work or while you were driving home from work
- Injuries that happened due to horseplay or a fight at work
- Injuries that happened while you were offsite on a lunch break
- Injuries that occurred while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Some injuries that occur away from your employer’s job site may still qualify for compensation. For example, if you were required to travel to a client’s residence and you were injured there or on your way there, your injury may be eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation.
Likewise, if your employer hosted a holiday party offsite and you were injured there, your injury may be covered by workers’ compensation, depending on several factors.
Questions to Consider After a Holiday Party Injury
If you were injured at a holiday party, your injury may be covered by workers’ compensation. There are several questions to consider after a holiday party to determine when a claim may be valid, including:
- Where was the party? If the party was hosted at your regular job site and your injury was caused by unsafe conditions, your injury may be compensable.
- Who hosted the party? Even if your employer had the party at another location or sponsored or endorsed the event, the party may be considered a work event and therefore eligible for compensation. Holiday lunches sponsored by the company may be considered work events while a casual meetup for happy hour is probably not.
- Was your attendance mandatory? Even though it was a party, if you were required to be there or it was implied that you should be there, it might be considered a required work event.
- What were your duties at the party? If you helped serve food, stocked the bar or were otherwise paid to attend the event, your employer may be liable for your injuries.
- Did you or other employees receive awards or bonuses at the party? If you or other employees received awards or bonuses at the party that would not have been awarded at another time, your injury may be compensable.
- Did your employer benefit from the party? If your employer benefited from the party by impressing clients or securing new business deals, your injury might be compensable.
How Schmidt Kramer Can Help
Making a claim based on a workplace holiday party injury can be a complicated matter. Your employer may initially deny your claim, but you may be eligible for benefits.
The experienced lawyers at Schmidt Kramer are here to carefully review your claim and determine if you suffered a compensable work injury. If you did, we are prepared to pursue full benefits.
We do not charge any fees upfront and we work on a contingency basis - we only get paid if your claim is approved.
Contact us today to schedule your confidential and complimentary case evaluation. (888) 476-0807