Is a Workplace Injury Outside Normal Duties Covered?

Aug 3, 2023 | Blog, Workers' Compensation

You may know that you can seek worker’s compensation for an accident that happens at work. But what if you were acting outside of your normal job duties when the accident occurred? Is it still covered?

The answer depends on the accident circumstances and whether the workplace injury relates to your job duties in any way. You may need a Virginia workplace injury attorney to help you approach this complicated case strategically and improve your chances of securing compensation. 

What Accidents Does Workers’ Compensation Cover? 

Virginia worker’s compensation typically covers work-related accidents that happen while you’re performing your job duties. They don’t have to occur at work; they can also happen while driving a work vehicle or working at an off-site location. 

But what about accidents that happen at work, but weren’t necessarily within the scope of your job duties? Your employer’s insurance company will examine the details of the accident to determine whether to cover the job injuries. The closer you can tie the accident to your job, the better chance you’ll have of securing compensation for your medical care.

Examples of Complicated Workplace Injuries

Consider this example: You normally work in the Internal Sales department, but you were helping your coworker in the External Sales department when you tripped over a trash can and broke your wrist. You weren’t necessarily completing your own job duties, but you were helping your coworker in the name of teamwork. You’ll have an easy time showing that your injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. 

In another example, say you suffered a concussion while playing softball at a company-wide picnic. While playing softball isn’t one of your job duties, your employer encouraged you to attend the picnic and organized the softball tournament. You should be able to easily show that your concussion is a work-related injury. 

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for what injuries workers’ compensation will cover. That’s why working with a Virginia workplace injury attorney is important in cases that aren’t straightforward. Your attorney can help you collect evidence that your injury occurred from a work-related accident, increasing your eligibility for compensation. 

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Horseplay? 

Horseplay is one of those gray areas in workers’ compensation laws. If you and your coworker are play-wrestling at the office or otherwise goofing around, and one of you becomes injured, is it covered by workers’ compensation? 

A decade ago, the answer probably would have been yes. Even victims of innocent horseplay could qualify for workers’ compensation. But today, the answer is more likely no. 

Virginia workers’ compensation laws don’t cover horseplay anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you are automatically disqualified from seeking compensation. You’ll want to work with a Virginia workplace attorney to frame your accident case to show that it did occur within the scope of your job duties. 

Alternatively, if your coworker was horsing around and caused your injuries, you may be able to sue them directly for your medical bills and other damages. You’d need to show that their negligence caused your accident. 

Seek Assistance from a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney

So is an accident that occurred outside your normal job duties covered by workers’ compensation? The answer can vary depending on what you were doing leading up to the accident and whether you can relate it to your typical workplace duties.

Improve your chances of qualifying for workers’ comp by partnering with a skilled attorney. Call Geoff McDonald & Associates today at 804-888-8888 to schedule your free consultation with a Virginia workplace injury attorney. 

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    Are You Allowed To Travel While on Workers’ Compensation in Virginia?

    You suffer a workplace injury and successfully apply for benefits. While recovering, you consider going on vacation. After all, why should you stay home if you can’t work anyway? Traveling can improve your mental health, but are you allowed to travel while on workers’...

    Where Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

    Small and not always easily visible, motorcycles are more vulnerable to road accidents than other vehicles. However, not all road areas are equally risky. Where do most motorcycle accidents happen? If we look into where motorcycle accidents occur most, we can...

    What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

    If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might be wondering, “What is my case worth?” Understanding the factors that determine the value of your personal injury case is crucial for ensuring you receive fair compensation. In...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald