What Does ‘In the Course and Scope of Employment’ Mean in Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Cases?
A work injury can cause a great deal of pain and create financial stress on your family. Luckily, work-related injuries and illnesses are compensable under Florida law.
However, when seeking workers’ compensation benefits for your injury, your employer’s insurance company may require you to prove that your injuries occurred “in the course and scope of employment.” Failure to prove this may result in the denial of your claim.
What does this phrase mean, and how do you prove that you were injured in the course and scope of employment? Speak with our Tampa workers’ compensation attorney at Kobal Law to help you ensure that your claim meets all legal requirements to qualify for workers’ comp.
What is “in the course and scope of employment”?
Pursuant to Section 440.02, Florida Statutes, a worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if their injury arose out of employment. “Arising out of employment” is defined as performing job duties in the course and scope of employment.
While some people interpret the phrase “arising out of employment” as “on-the-job,” the two terms are not the same. Even if your injury occurred on the job, it does not necessarily mean that it arose out of employment.
Typically, you can prove that your injury occurred when performing work “in the course and scope of employment” if the following situations:
- You were injured when performing your job duties
- Your work-related injury occurred when you were completing a task assigned by your employer
- The accident happened during your normal work hours or shift
- You were injured on the job (in the workplace) or at another location recognized by the employer as a “work location.”
While the insurance company may agree that you were injured at work, it may disagree that your injury arose out of employment or that you were acting in the course and scope of employment when the incident occurred.
For example, if you are a delivery driver operating a company vehicle and you were involved in an accident during work hours, your workers’ compensation claim could be denied if the insurer proves that you deviated from the assigned route to run a personal errand when the accident occurred.
Contact a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer
Generally, workers are not compensated for injuries that occur while deviating from the course and scope of their employment.
Note: Employees are typically not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if their injuries occur while commuting to or from work unless they were engaged in running errands for their employer at the time of the incident.
If you fail to demonstrate sufficient evidence proving that your injury arose out of employment while performing duties in the course and scope of employment, the employer’s insurer is likely to deny your claim and refuse to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
For this reason, it’s always advised to seek legal counsel from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to establish that your injury occurred in the course and scope of employment to be eligible for benefits under Florida law.
Schedule a free initial consultation with our workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa. Contact Kobal Law to help you prove that your work-related injury meets the definition of “arising out of employment.” Call 813-873-2440.