New York Workers' Compensation is an intricate area of law that is often subject to a number of misconceptions. This site is intended to help readers seeking clarification on the topic of NY Workers' Comp. Whether you are an injured worker lost amidst the complexities of Workers' Comp, a doctor who is not sure how to properly handle a Workers' Comp patient's file, or simply a curious New Yorker who worries about what would happen if you were ever injured on the job, I hope that the content of this site will deliver the answers you seek, even to questions you didn't know to ask.

It is my pleasure to welcome you into the world of New York Workers' Compensation. I hope you enjoy your visit, spread the word, and come back soon.

Best regards,

Camila P. Medici, Esq.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Injured on the Way To and/or From Work - Coverage for Outside Workers

As a general rule employees are only covered by Workers' Comp Insurance if they are injured at work while performing their work activities.  There is, however, an exception to that rule: Outside Workers.  An outside worker is someone who does not always report to the same work location.  Whether they are an Attorney that sometimes has to go to Court to represent a Client, an Elevator Mechanic that gets sent to different projects depending on assignment, a doctor who has to go to different hospitals, or a door-to-door salesman who is not an independent contractor, anyone who does not report to one, specific work location is generally considered an outside worker and is therefore covered "door-to-door" (meaning on their way to and from work, while walking, biking, driving, or taking public transit).   Although the law seems clear and therefore benefits should start automatically, it is also the general practice of insurance companies to controvert the claims of outside workers, forcing them to prove that they were outside workers in order to receive benefits.  Generally, upon receipt of the claim stating, for example, that an elevator mechanic was injured on his way to work in a motor-vehicle accident, the insurance carrier will file a C-7 controverting the claim, alleging that the worker is not covered under comp because the accident happened outside of the scope of his employment.  Within a couple of weeks of receiving that C-7 the Board will likely schedule a Pre-Hearing Conference, and both sides are expected to file Pre-Hearing Conference Statements stating their positions.  The workers' Attorney should cite the pertinent case law and describe that the Claimant is what is known in the industry as "an outside worker" and therefore is covered for the injuries resulting from the related MVA.  The Carrier will have to show through testimony or work ledge from that Claimant that he always reported to that location, or perhaps that on the day of the accident he was not scheduled to work.  Otherwise, the Claimant should certainly prevail after testifying to his outside worker characteristics. 

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