Injuries that happen at the workplace can be complicated. While you’re almost always entitled to workers’ compensation, sometimes your employer will try to fight back against your claim or argue that they weren’t liable for what happened.
These injury claims become even more complicated when they occur offsite at a company event, such as a retreat or a team-building event. If you’ve been injured at a company event and aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to getting the justice you deserve, keep reading.
Investigate Local Laws
Different places have different laws when it comes to collecting a workers’ compensation claim for an injury at an off-site company event. Some states recognize that injuries at these events should be treated no differently than injuries that happen at the workplace.
However, other states differentiate between whether an event was mandatory or voluntary. With that being said, you can still make a case that the event was mandatory despite technically being voluntary if you feel that your attendance was implied to be mandatory, as is common with many “optional” company events. If you travel for work you may even be injured while working in a different country. This can all get confusing so you’ll want to talk about your specific case with a professional.
Talk to An Attorney
Regardless of how you plan to pursue your claim, it’s always a good idea to talk to a workplace compensation lawyer. Even if you don’t plan on taking your employer to court, an attorney can help you to file your claim and submit any necessary documentation to your employer or their insurer.
Don’t Talk to Your Employer
What you say to your employer after an incident matters. Even if you think a comment was innocent, it can be documented and used in their rebuttal to your compensation claim. Of course, you need to communicate to your employer through the course of your job, but refuse to talk about the incident. Politely respond to any attempt to discuss what happened with an invitation to speak to your attorney. If your employer has a problem with this, then it might be time to excuse yourself from your position until the matter has been settled legally.
It’s not always in your employer’s best interest to give you the compensation that you’re entitled to after an injury. No matter how much you think your employer cares about you, even “good companies” have been known to behave unscrupulously when their finances are in jeopardy. As a worker, remember to always look out for your own rights and demand justice when you’ve been wronged.
Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.