My Employer Organized A Kickball Event And I Got Hurt: Now What?
Many people work in offices that occasionally plan recreational events for employees. In the summer months in particular, despite the intense heat in South Florida, employers may plan company picnics and recreational sporting events. Company kickball games and related sporting events have become popular at many workplaces, and employees routinely participate in these events. While company kickball or softball games can help to build community in the workplace and to strengthen relationships among co-workers and their supervisors, workplace kickball and softball games can also result in serious injuries. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), recreational sports injuries occur quite frequently, accounting for about 2.7 million injuries annually. People of all ages can be affected, as well. The highest rates of injury impact children and adults between the ages of 25-64.
If you were injured while participating in a workplace kickball or softball game, or another kind of recreational sports activity, can you seek financial compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim? It depends on a number of factors, and our Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can tell you more.
Work Kickball Game Injuries are Not Typically Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Generally speaking, work kickball game injuries, and other injuries arising out of recreational and social activities linked to your job, are not compensable through the Florida workers’ compensation system. There are, however, exceptions. Here is what the statute says:
“Recreational or social activities are not compensable unless such recreational or social activities are an expressly required incident or employment and produce a substantial direct benefit to the employer beyond improvement in employee health and morale that is common to all kinds of recreation and social life.”
To break that down, in order for a work kickball game injury to be covered by workers’ compensation, both of the following must be true:
- You were required to attend the kickball game as part of your employment; and
- Your employer got a substantial benefit from the kickball game beyond improving employees’ health or morale.
One of our Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can evaluate the specific facts surrounding your injury to help you determine whether your kickball injury might fall into an exception and may be compensable.
What Are My Options If I Cannot Get Workers’ Compensation?
If you are injured in a workplace kickball game but are ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you should not panic. It may be possible to seek compensation by filing a third-party lawsuit. There are many different scenarios in which a third party could be liable for your injuries.
For example, if the owner or manager of the premises where the kickball game occurred failed to maintain the area of the kickball field in a reasonably safe manner, that property owner ultimately could be liable for a trip and fall that occurred there. Or, for instance, if you were injured by a defective product during the workplace kickball game, the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the product could be responsible for injuries. Finally, if a third party at the kickball field caused your injuries, you could potentially be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Pompano Beach
If you need assistance determining your eligibility for workers’ compensation or filing a claim, one of the Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can assist you.