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When injuries outside work deserve workers' comp

When someone in Denver is injured at work, he or she can usually apply for workers' compensation benefits, but what happens when someone is injured outside of work? For the most part, any injury that happens outside of work would fall under personal injury and could not be used in a workers' compensation claim. In addition, as we mentioned in one of our articles, workers injured on the way to or on the way home from work cannot receive workers' compensation benefits. This does not mean, however, that all injuries sustained outside of the workplace fall outside of the workers' compensation realm.

If someone is injured while on the clock, so to speak, even if the individual is commuting to another location or is off-site, he or she can likely file for workers' compensation benefits. One of the easiest examples is that of a delivery driver. Although a driver's main workplace is the restaurant for which he or she works, if the driver is injured while delivering food to an Aurora home, he or she could still file for workers' compensation.

There are still some debates, however, as to how far this exception will stretch. In our recent article on health care workers' fatigue, we discussed a case in which a nurse was fatally injured after she fell asleep behind the wheel. While this has all the makings of a personal injury incident, not workers' compensation, there are some who argue it should be a workers' compensation case.

For one, the nurse who was killed had been working long shifts in the days leading up to her death. She had been seriously overworked at a medical care facility that was understaffed. It is undeniable that her work is what made her so tired she crashed.

Though this case is from Ohio, the outcome could have a serious effect on how Colorado awards workers' compensation benefits.

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