What Injuries Aren’t Covered by Workers Compensation?

Jan 23, 2020Blog0 comments

As an employer working in the state of Florida, you are required by law to provide workers’ compensation coverage for your employees. 

But that doesn’t mean your workers’ compensation policy will cover every injury your employees get while they’re at work. 

There are a few exceptions here. 

To understand what type of injuries workers’ compensation doesn’t cover, you first have to know what it does cover. That’s why we’ve put together this workers’ compensation coverage guide. 

Make sure you keep reading below to learn more.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Do?

If one of your employees gets hurt on the job, your workers’ compensation will pay for their medical expenses. 

But what exactly does “getting hurt on the job” mean?

This is where it gets a little confusing, but it’s important you know what type of injuries you’re responsible to cover. Basically, if your employee was injured while they were engaged in a task that benefits your business, they’re entitled to workers’ compensation. 

It doesn’t matter where this happens. Even if your employee works in a remote location, workers’ compensation will cover their injuries.

But there are a few limitations to this rule.  

Injuries That Aren’t Covered By a Workers’ Compensation Policy 

Some injuries, even if they happen at the workplace, are the employee’s own fault. 

Here are a few injuries workers; compensation won’t cover. 

Small Injuries 

If the injury is small enough to be treated by a basic first-aid kit, it doesn’t require workers’ compensation. 

This includes things like:

  • Small cuts
  • Bruises
  • Small burns
  • Headaches 

These types of injuries should heal on their own in a few days. 

Commuting 

Workers’ compensation won’t cover any injuries that happen on your way to and from work. If your employee gets hit by another car during their normal commute, they’ll have to handle their medical expenses on their own. 

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. 

When an employee is driving a company car, running an errand for work, or driving to another work location, they might be entitled to workers’ compensation. It depends on the specific circumstances. 

Recreational Activities 

Are you planning on putting together a team-building exercise for your employees?

While these exercises are important (and worth every cent!), they can also cause a lot of injuries. The good news is you aren’t responsible for these injuries. 

However, safety should still be your top priority during any recreational event. 

Intoxication 

Your workers’ compensation policy doesn’t include any injuries received while an employee is intoxicated. 

Showing up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol is the employee’s fault. Because of this, they have to live with the consequences. 

If you think an intoxication may have caused a work-related injury, ask the employee to take a drug test. If they refuse to take a drug test, you may be able to refuse their workers’ compensation claim. 

Disregarded Safety Rules

Your workplace has safety rules for a reason. 

You aren’t responsible for any injuries an employee receives if they’ve blatantly disregarded these rules. 

For example, you might require your employees to wear safety gloves when working with certain chemicals or products. If they don’t wear these gloves and get hurt because of it, that’s their fault. 

They understood the risks and worked without the gloves anyway. 

Make sure all your employees understand the safety rules before they start working. It can also be helpful to have signs or reminders around the workplace to ensure everyone follows these rules. 

Horseplay 

An injury received from horseplay doesn’t warranty workers’ compensation either. 

Why?

Even if you’re employee got this injury at the workplace, they weren’t doing there job when it happened. That means you aren’t responsible for it. 

Fighting 

Your workers’ compensation also won’t cover an injury received during a fight between employees. This is especially true if the injured employee started the fight. 

If an employee was involved in a fight but was only defending themselves, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation. 

Illegal Activity 

Of course, if your employee was engaged in illegal activity when they got injured, they won’t receive any workers’ compensation coverage. 

This type of activity might involve stealing, breaking and entering, harassment, etc. 

On Break 

Your employees might be entitled to workers’ compensation if they get injured during a break, but it depends on the circumstance. 

For example, if an employee is still in the office during their break, many states consider that a benefit to you as the employer. Because of this, that injury might still be covered. 

But if an employee goes off-site during their break, they won’t be able to receive workers’ compensation for their injuries. 

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Coverage 

Your workers’ compensation policy covers a lot of injuries. But there are many things your policy won’t cover as well. 

So think about the injury before you follow through with any workers’ compensation claims. 

Did the injury happen at the workplace during work hours? Was the employee following the proper safety rules? Was the employee under the influence of drugs and alcohol?

If you have any confusion about one of your employee’s workers’ compensation claims, you should get in touch with your insurance provider. They’ll be able to help you understand what your policy covers. 

Don’t have a workers’ compensation policy yet?

Getting one needs to be your next priority. 

We can help! Don’t hesitate to click here for your free online quote today!

Receive a Free Copy

Fill out the form to receive a FREE copy of the 10 Things you should know about Workman's Compensation today!

You have Successfully Subscribed!