Can I Get Workers’ Comp If I Was Off-Duty?

On May 10, a firefighter in Waco suffered second degree burns and a severe spinal cord injury in an off-duty accident. The firefighter was performing routine maintenance on a billboard when he came in contact with high-voltage power lines. The shock caused him to fall 10 feet. He laid on the ground for an hour, unable to use his legs, until he was discovered and taken to the hospital.

Can You Get Workers’ Comp If You’re Injured Off-Duty?

In Texas, workers’ comp providers are not responsible for paying benefits if:

  • An employee is injured while intoxicated
  • The injury is caused by willful attempt to injure oneself or unlawfully injure another person
  • A non-employee injures an employee for a personal reason and not directed at the employee because of their employment
  • The employee is injured while participating in voluntary off-duty recreation, social or athletic activity that is not part of that employee’s duties (unless that activity is a reasonable expectancy of or is expressly or implicitly required by employment)
  • The injury is a result of an “act of God” unless the employee’s job exposes him or her to greater risk of injury from an act of God than normally applies to the general public
  • The injury arises out of horseplay

Many workers’ comp claims are denied at first. This is true even if you have a legitimate claim. That is why it is important, if you have been injured on the job, to discuss your case with a workers’ compensation attorney.



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