Workers' compensation was created to help people who were hurt on the
job get some financial assistance. In a recent Pennsylvania case, a woman's
workers' compensation claim was denied. It is a very tricky circumstance that led to this denial,
but the woman is not giving up her fight for benefits following her husband's death.
Her husband was working both from his home and at his employer's office
intermittently. One day in 2007, the wife found him at his home office
desk with a nosebleed and unresponsive. He died shortly after. That's
when she filed for workers' compensation, claiming her husband suffered
a work-related injury that ultimately led to his death. The man's
employer denied the claim.
So far the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Appeal Board has denied
the claim as well because the board says the man was not acting in the
capacity of his job when he was hurt. In spite of this, the woman is arguing
that although her husband was not working at the exact time of his injury,
she is still entitled to benefits under the personal comfort doctrine.
That doctrine states an employee who is hurt during trivial acts, such
as a restroom break, is still considered to have been hurt on the job.
The widow believes her husband fell at the front entry to the house because
she found blood on the sidewalk. Blood was also found in other areas of
Workers' compensation laws can be very complicated to understand. Therefore,
it is important that anyone facing the possibility of or have had a workers'
compensation claim denied seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney
may be able to help them understand the laws governing workers' compensation
and possibly prevent having a claim denied.
Source: Workforce, "Workers' Comp Denied for Spouse of Sales Manager
Working From Home," Sept. 9, 2011