When most people think of workers’ compensation, they think of work-related illnesses or workplace accidents in terms of their own workplace. But work-related illness and injury can occur in any type of workplace, including many situations that you may never envision even in your wildest dreams. Did you ever think that being robbed would entitle you to workers’ comp? What about if you had to make a delivery and were traumatized because you found a dead body? These are just a few of the many intense situations that arise every year in the field of workers’ compensation law.
We’ve previously written about some of these extreme situations on our blog. Some of our top entries on the topic of non-traditional workplaces and workers’ comp situations include:
- Liquor Store Employee Robbed at Gunpoint Wins Workers’ Comp Fight: In a case handled by our firm, a liquor store manager was robbed at gunpoint during his shift. He suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and requested benefits. His employer denied benefits under the theory that being robbed while working at a liquor store in the Philadelphia area is just a routine part of the job. The Commonwealth Court disagreed with the employer, allowing the store manager to get the benefits he needed to treat his PTSD.
- UPS Driver Who Found Murder Scene is Eligible for Workers’ Comp: A UPS driver making a delivery found a 65-year old woman who had been shot in the face. The driver suffered from PTSD as a result of this discovery. UPS attempted to deny benefits, but the driver eventually prevailed.
- What Employers Can Learn from SeaWorld’s Killer Whale Case: Yes, even SeaWorld is subject to workplace safety regulations and workers’ comp law. This fact became all-too-clear when a trainer died while working with a killer whale.
- (Not So) Normal Working Conditions: A retail manager was robbed while at work. When he chased after the robber, we was caught under the getaway car and killed. The Commonwealth Court eventually ruled that his family was entitled to survivors’ benefits, even though chasing after robbers was not in the manager’s job description.
- Fatal Accidents Increase for Cellphone Tower Workers: Cell tower workers often do their job suspended from remarkable heights. These heights, unfortunately, lead to many fatalities due to workplace falls, and are one of the reasons that cell tower workers have one of the fastest growing workplace fatality rates.
To read about other situations that you may not have realized involved a workers’ compensation component, feel free to browse our blog archive.