Workers’ compensation: The personal comfort doctrine
The personal comfort doctrine applies to employees who suffer an injury during a break, or when briefly stopping their work to address a personal need (such as using the restroom, smoking a cigarette, or having a quick snack). Every case is unique based on when, where, why and how long the worker stopped working, and the circumstances of how they suffered an injury. The facts of any given case will lead a judge to determine whether the deviation from work did or did not result in “abandoning” the job, and/or whether the worker voluntarily engaged in an action where an injury was foreseeable.
In the January, 2022 case of Henderson v. WP Ventures, Inc. (WCAB), the court summarized numerous situations where the injury was still considered occurring in the course of employment, and compared other circumstances that were not covered by workers’ compensation.
Since the Covid Pandemic, many people work remotely, whether at home, a coffee shop or even in your car. If an injury occurs during a brief period away from work, the personal comfort doctrine may entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits. Insurance companies deny many of these claims, simply saying you were at home, or that you can not prove you were working. Let the Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist Lawyers of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias review the facts of your case. We only get paid if we win, and in some situations, the fee is paid by the insurance company for unreasonably contesting your claim. For a free, no obligation consultation, call us at 610-601-5399 or contact us online.