When Workers’ Comp Won’t Cover Your Injuries

If you were injured on the job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation—a type of insurance that most all employers are required to provide for their employees. A no-fault system of benefits, workers’ comp protects both the employer and the employee should a worker suffer an injury or illness at work. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that Rhode Island has paid over $13 million in workers’ comp claims in 2016.

Rhode Island Rules for Workers’ Comp

Workers’ comp laws are different in every state, so it’s important to research and know the laws where you live. Here is a brief look at some of the workers’ compensation rules in Rhode Island:

  • The coming and going rule. If you are injured while traveling to work or on your way to a destination from your workplace after work, your injuries won’t be covered. However, your injuries might be covered if you were:
    • Driving a company vehicle
    • Expected to be in a certain place because of your work
    • Injured while on company time or property at the time of the accident
  • The horseplay rule. If a workplace injury occurs as a result of horseplay, medical costs and treatments won’t be covered. However, if the horseplay injuries occur because of a work-sanctioned event, party, or permissible activity, workers’ comp could cover the costs.
  • Deviation from employment. If you were injured while at your job but not performing your job duties, workers’ comp probably won’t cover your injuries. For example, if you were injured while involved in an activity that only benefitted you and didn’t satisfy your job duties, your injury won’t be covered.
  • Fighting. If you were injured because you were fighting with someone at your workplace, workers’ comp won’t cover your medical costs.
  • Intoxication or intentional acts. If you show up to work drunk or drugged, injuries that might have otherwise been considered legitimate will not be covered. Likewise, if you show up to work intending to injure yourself for financial gain, your injuries will not be covered. Intentional injuries to defraud the system will likely be found out.

If You Were Injured at Work

If you were injured on the job, are worried about going back to work, and have questions about your eligibility for workers’ compensation, contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum. Our lawyers are familiar with Rhode Island laws and experienced in workers’ comp cases. Contact our legal team by filling out our online form.