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Holiday parties and injuries: Can you get workers' compensation?

If you're hurt during a holiday party at work, can you be compensated and seek a claim through workers' compensation? Well, that isn't always an easy answer. Depending on where the party takes place and what happened, your employer may not be liable.

There are two main factors in these cases. First, were you working within the scope of employment? Second, was there any negligence contributing to the accident?

If you aren't working within the scope of your employment at the time of an injury, you aren't likely to be able to obtain workers' compensation benefits. There are a few ways you might be an exception, though. For instance, if you're a caterer helping to cater a company event, then you would still be covered by workers' compensation. If you are performing actions that can be seen as part of your employment, then that may be enough to get the claim approved.

If your employer requires you to attend an event, that does make it within the scope of employment. If you absolutely must attend, for example, to obtain your bonus check, and have been told you must attend as a requirement of your job, then you may be able to obtain your workers' compensation benefits.

Another thing to remember is that if negligence is involved, that may not be enough for a workers' compensation claim, but you might be able to seek out a personal injury claim against your employer instead. Oftentimes, there are multiple avenues to get the compensation you need after you get hurt, even if it's after hours while at your holiday work party.

Source: Property Casualty 360, "Injured at employer's holiday party? No workers' comp benefits," Steven A. Meyerowitz, ESQ, Dec. 28, 2016

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