Many companies hold company picnics and other get-togethers for their employees. Unfortunately, sometimes these social gatherings can result in a work injury to the employee. While workers compensation for injuries offers compensation to employees, who get injured at work, the same does not always apply if an employee gets injured while attending a social gathering organized by their employer.
Most states in the US contain exceptions for workers compensation for injuries that occur during social gatherings outside the workplace. For example, the company may sponsor an outdoor barbecue for all the employees. If a worker suffers a burn if they drop their coffee or burns their hand while barbequing the chicken, the employer will not be held liable for any damages. This is because the employer had no role to play in this injury
Fortunately, in Charlotte, North Carolina, there are exceptions to this rule. It all depends on the scenario and how the injury occurred. For example, if the employer arranges transport for all the employees to a picnic, drives the bus and causes an accident, they will be held responsible for injuries sustained by any employee. Or if the manager organizes a baseball game for employees and negligently throws the baseball in a way that it hits an employee’s eye and causes blindness, the manager is responsible.
In general, trivial injuries that occur during a social gathering arranged by the employer like neck pain, twisting of the ankle while running or skin lacerations are not considered workers’ compensation injuries and are usually not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if you believe that it is a work injury and that you deserve compensation, you need to provide evidence that supports your claim. You have to establish that the injury is serious and you also have to show that the manager (workplace) was directly negligent or reckless in causing the injury.
If every type of injury that occurs at a social gathering arranged by the workplace is covered under workers’ compensation, the program would quickly go bankrupt. But this does not mean that you can never get workers compensation for injuries sustained at a company picnic. It completely depends on the circumstance of your case.
We usually recommend that office employee should avoid drinking too much alcohol. The employer can play an important role here and take a well-thought-out decision to restrict alcohol intake. It is also a good idea to tell employees who have proven to be difficult in the past to behave properly so that no unforeseen event takes place.
If you were injured at a company picnic that was arranged by your employer, the first thing you should do is to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer. They know the ins and outs of the system, and they will find a way to prove that your injuries were actually work-related if that is the case.
However, it is always a good idea to be realistic about winning such a case. For the most part, even if you break your leg during a baseball game arranged by your employer, most workers’ compensation programs do not consider these injuries to be work-related. If this happens, your workers compensation for injuries claim may be denied. It is important to understand that attending a picnic or a barbecue outside of work is not mandatory and it is not part of the job. But if you do decide to attend, then understand that you have to be the responsible one. If anything nasty begins to occur, it is best to get away from the situation.
Every situation is different. Some injuries sustained at a company picnic may not be eligible for workers’ compensation, but at the same time, there can be situations that do result in a work injury. It is best to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer in this regard as they are in the best position to assist you.
Each case is different. Clearly, if the worker is horsing around and sustains an injury at the company picnic, the employer cannot be held liable. But if the worker is given a certain task by their employer and if the worker injures themselves while doing that task, they can possibly file a workers’ compensation claim. If that is the case, you can contact our Charlotte, NC workers compensation lawyer at Ted A. Greve & Associates. We understand that nobody expects or wants to be injured at a picnic and even when they do they tend to dismiss their injuries. Don’t make that same mistake. We can help you. Call us today.