At the Law Offices of Marc Francis, workers compensation lawyers in Sonoma County, we receive inquiries from injured workers who have had their work injury claims denied because, for example, “My boss told the insurance company I wasn’t supposed to use my own truck for work errands and when I went to pick up supplies I was struck by another motorist.”
This hypothetical example illustrates the workers compensation principle that an injury is likely industrial, creating employer liability for medical care and disability benefits, if the injured worker was injured while doing an act within the course of employment but in an unauthorized manner.
In our hypothetical example, the injured worker had been tasked with completing an important installation project by a certain deadline. The supervisor gave these instructions, left the jobsite, and was then unavailable. The worker then discovered that additional parts were needed to complete the job. The employer’s work pickup truck had been driven away by the supervisor, leaving only the worker’s personal vehicle to obtain the needed parts. No one answered the telephone at the employer’s office. The worker, aware of the employer’s rule that only company vehicles should be used for work errands, decided he needed the parts to complete the job on time as instructed, and was struck and injured by another motorist on the way to the parts store.
Under these facts in our hypothetical example, benefits should be paid because the injured worker was in the course of employment at the time of the motor vehicle accident. He was providing a benefit to the employer (obtaining parts needed to complete a project by a deadline) even though he was doing so in an unauthorized manner (using his own vehicle).
Every case is different and you should not rely on this hypothetical illustration, rather you should consult with a Sonoma County workers comp lawyer for information about your particular case. Call the Law Offices of Marc Francis today for a free consultation.