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Worker wins workers' compensation appeal against casino

Workers' compensation is in place to help employees who are injured while on the job. Whether it's an accident with machinery, a slip and fall or some other incident, workers' compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages and any therapy that might be needed for the worker to make as full a recovery as possible.

In order for a compensation case to be approved, the worker usually has to be considered "on the job" when the accident occurs. However, businesses have latitude in determining what "on the job" actually means. In the case of a casino in Atlantic City, an employee is still considered working until they leave the premises of the casino. When a female employee was injured in a car accident as she was leaving her job at the casino, the casino rejected her workers' compensation claim. Recently, an appeals court found in favor of the woman.

The accident happened in September of 2012. As the woman was leaving the parking garage of the casino, the front of her Ford Explorer was struck by another vehicle. According to the casino, the woman was no longer on casino grounds and therefore was not in an official employee capacity. However, the woman posited that she was still on the grounds of the casino because she had not completely left the grounds.

A court sided with the woman and ordered that the casino should pay the compensation claim. The casino appealed. The appeals court, using the evidence of a photo that showed a portion of her vehicle was still on casino property at the time of the accident, upheld the lower court's decision.

Because the woman was still on casino grounds when the car accident happened, she was still considered "on the clock," and therefore covered by the workers' compensation policy. Although this was a rather unique case, victims of workplace accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. A legal professional can assist anyone who is considering filing such a claim with navigating the legal process and defending against any arguments a employer might present.

Source:  USA Today, "Casino dealer wins workers' comp fight by a foot" 10 February 2015

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