Working in cold winter weather is not fun and it’s not comfortable. Unfortunately, business must run and people have to go to work. As much as business has to continue, can you get workers compensation if you get injured while working during winter? The short answer is yes. Below are three scenarios where you might be eligible.
When You Become Sick
Getting sick while on the job does not necessarily mean that your job caused you to become ill. Other factors might have been in play. Your job, however, might expose you to conditions where you might get sick. In such a case, will you be eligible for workers compensation?
To get compensated, you must first show that your injury is work related. Sometimes it’s impossible to prove that you contracted a disease at work. For instance, if you contract a disease like the flu, it will not be easy proving that you did not contract it from someone or somewhere else other than at work.
According to Massachusetts workers compensation statute, you should report your illness to your employer. As of 2014, employers are required to fill out the Employer’s First Report of Injury and file it electronically with the DIA. They should then file three copies of the records. One for you, one for the company records and one for the insurance carrier. The form should be filed within seven working days.
Who is Liable When Ice Causes a Car Accident?
Unless you work from home, most people commute to work. However, the winter weather may cause poor road conditions and you might find your involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, workers compensation does not cover accidents that happen while employees are commuting to work unless they have been assigned by the company specifically to travel for business.
If you were involved in a car accident and you are sure it was the ice that caused it, you might be held liable for the accident. For instance, if you collide into another car, even if it is the ice that caused your car to slide and collide with another car, you will still be found liable.
One of the many legal theories involving negligence states that negligence occurs when someone breaches their duty to drive safely and avoid colliding with other cars.When you are on the road, you are required to avoid colliding with other cars and to drive safely.
Since the road and weather conditions change during winter, you are required to adapt and change driving habits. So if you hit a patch of ice, and you lose control of the car and as a result you hit another car, you will be at fault for causing the accident.
Can You Get Workers Compensation for Frostbite?
If you find yourself having to spend a lot of time outdoors in sub-zero temperatures due to the nature of your work and you end up suffering from frostbite that prevents you from going to work for several days, then you are eligible for workers compensation.
Not all employees are covered under workers compensation so if your claim is denied, you might need to consult with a workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
Other Winter Liability Issues
Apart from work injuries, there are other risks that come with winter. They include:
If someone slips and hurts themselves on your slipper sidewalk, they could file a slip and fall injury claim against you. It is therefore very important that you shovel your sidewalk often to avoid unwanted lawsuits.
Cities Plowing bike Lanes
Your city is responsible for ensuring the streets are clean and safe even when it is snowing. According to Massachusetts department of transportation, bike lanes are difficult to maintain because they are physically separated from the main road. They require narrow ploughs to remove snow and debris.
Do You Really Need a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Figuring out if you can file a workers compensation claim or who to hold liable for your injuries can be very tricky. You might not need a lawyer but when your claim is denied, you might need one. Our workers compensation lawyers in Hyannis, MA ensure that your claim will go smoothly. Contact us today at 508-775-1660 for a free initial consultation.