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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default Nd Worker's Comp Question - Business Trip Injury Outside Paid Working Hours

    Just a general question about ND worker's comp, I haven't been able to find the answer online yet and haven't gotten to the point of talking to a worker's comp attorney (story too long for forum post).

    I had an injury on a business trip. I was on a two-day trip, had one site on Tuesday, an overnight out of town and a second site Wednesday.
    I had just checked into my hotel and was walking back out to my company vehicle when I slipped on ice in the parking lot and significantly injured my knee.

    I work for a contract company (hereafter referred to as "Add**on"), and work onsite as a full-time hourly employee at a company I shall call "He**". I first reported my injury to He**, who made the determination that since it happened outside of working hours, and by their words "had already set up temporary lodging", they were not responsible for the Worker's Comp claim and I would have to go through Add**on. After Add**on very obviously delayed in giving me a Claim number and instead had me call the hotel and make sure a claim had been started against their insurance carrier, I filed the First Report of Injury myself, after which I was told by HR and my Add**on manager that I didn't need to go through Worker's Comp and they would be taking care of everything pretty much under the table to "avoid all of the paperwork".

    Basically at this point I am trying to find out whether it is worth pushing the Worker's Comp route, and trying to determine whether the circumstances surrounding the injury make it compensable or not. I have found case studies and references in other states that lean toward yes, it falls under Worker's Comp, but can't find anything specific to ND. Has anyone else run into this situation or know if there is a resource on the web I can look at to tip it one way or the other?

    TL;DR - Slipped and fell on the ice on a business trip, but outside of paid work hours. Injury compensable?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    9,076

    Default Re: Nd Worker's Comp Question - Business Trip Injury Outside Paid Working Hours

    it's not specifically stated in the comp statutes and you have to look to someone familiar with North Dakota case law.

    I would be very wary of the employer who wants to avoid the paperwork.
    they have everything to gain and you have the most to loose in those situations.
    generally if you go along with hiding the comp claim from the carrrier it will be very difficult months from now to file if you need benefits.
    you can be terminated and any time and be without health coverage and wishing you opted to have a claim filed.

    if the claim is denied, very specific facts of the case will have to be given the comp court.
    what type of payments do get for your trips?
    are these trips your regular routine duties or are they irregular?
    do you often work at one travel location for a period of time and then return to your home location?

    generally business trips fore a specific and limited purpose that are outside of your regular duties provide comp coverage thru out the travel period.
    but again North Dakota caselaw would give some ideas at to exceptions or inclusions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    2

    Default Re: Nd Worker's Comp Question - Business Trip Injury Outside Paid Working Hours

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    it's not specifically stated in the comp statutes and you have to look to someone familiar with North Dakota case law.

    I would be very wary of the employer who wants to avoid the paperwork.
    they have everything to gain and you have the most to loose in those situations.
    generally if you go along with hiding the comp claim from the carrrier it will be very difficult months from now to file if you need benefits.
    you can be terminated and any time and be without health coverage and wishing you opted to have a claim filed.

    if the claim is denied, very specific facts of the case will have to be given the comp court.
    what type of payments do get for your trips?
    are these trips your regular routine duties or are they irregular?
    do you often work at one travel location for a period of time and then return to your home location?

    generally business trips fore a specific and limited purpose that are outside of your regular duties provide comp coverage thru out the travel period.
    but again North Dakota caselaw would give some ideas at to exceptions or inclusions.


    I am reimbursed for food and lodging for any out of town work trips. - EDIT - Also drive a company provided vehicle and have company gas card.
    My out of town trips are explicitly part of my job duty, and I alternate a single day trip one week, overnight trip with multiple sites each day the next week.

    I'm definitely not trying to screw my company or anything, I just need to make sure I am covered. It's looking like the Workers Comp route is the best way to ensure that. I guess my only reservation (and my reason for trying to ask around before I go the formal route) is that if I tell my company I am going to go the file a claim route, they don't pay anything, then WC says no it's not compensable, then the financial burden is all on me. If it's not compensable, then whatever the company pays for under the table, even if it doesn't cover EVERYthing, is that much less that is on me.
    I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get a definitive 100% answer without formally filing, but I'm just kind of looking for something that will lean it significantly one way or the other and at least make me a little more comfortable making one decision or the other.
    Last edited by Chaos5987; 11-28-2012 at 06:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
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    5,136

    Default Re: Nd Worker's Comp Question - Business Trip Injury Outside Paid Working Hours

    Chaos5987
    I am reimbursed for food and lodging for any out of town work trips. - EDIT - Also drive a company provided vehicle and have company gas card.
    My out of town trips are explicitly part of my job duty,
    Because you are driving a company car, the employer has control of how and when you perform your duties, in my opinion you have a very clear worker comp claim.
    File an accident report with your employer and request medical treatment.
    If they refuse, consult and retain a lawyer who specializes in worker comp in your area.

    I think you could also file a personal injury claim against the hotel, it would pay pain and suffering additional to wage loss and medical.
    File both and let the insurance companies fight it out.

    Consult an attorney before you do anything but I think you have a win-win.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

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