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Were You Really “At Work” When You Got Injured?

Here is hypothetical #1. You are a black jack dealer, and you are about to go on one of your many 20-minute breaks throughout your shift. You ascend down the escalator to the employee dining room and your foot gives way for some unknown reason, and you fall down the stairs. You are injured, including a sprained ankle and a tear within your knee.

Here is hypothetical #2. You are a poker dealer and you are walking in the hallway at work. While walking in the hallway, you collapse (which later turns out to be related to your disease MS). You are injured, including a sprained ankle and a tear within your knee.

Both injuries have occurred “at work,” both with very different outcomes. Hypo #1 is compensable as a workplace injury ( see Rio v. Phillips), while Hypo #2 is not ( see Rio v. Gorsky). Why? Both times you were “at work.” There is a legal definition about whether an injury arose out of and in the course of your employment (i.e. “at work”). See NRS 616C.150.

In other words, the law will likely define whether or not you were “at work.” Merely being there does not automatically make an injury at work compensable. There must be some sort of increased risk, created by the employer, which caused the injury in order to make it compensable. Simply being at work and suffering an injury may not be enough.

This is a very complicated area of law that requires consultation with an attorney in order to get the benefits you are entitled to under the law. If you have been injured “at work,” it is imperative that you consult with a Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorney from Shook & Stone as soon as possible.

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