Question: Can there be worker’s compensation for an injury that occurs while you are walking to or from your car to retrieve work related items while on the job?
Answer: Yes. The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act provides for compensation of injury or death by accident arising out of and in the course of employment. Claimants bear the burden of proving the right to compensation. An injury arises out of employment when a causal nexus exists between the injury sustained and the duties or services performed by the injured employee. The nexus is established when a reasonably prudent person considers the injury to be born out of a risk incidental to the employment. Risks incidental to employment fall into 3 categories: (1) risks distinctly associated with employment, (2) risks personal to the claimant, and (3) risks neither distinctly employment nor distinctly personal in character. Risks that fall within categories numbered one and three are generally covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act. However, risks personal to the claimant, those caused by a pre-existing illness or condition unrelated to employment are not compensable. With respect to injuries resulting from workplace falls, courts have noted that workplace falls can result from either an employment, personal, or neutral risk, or from a combination thereof. Some falls clearly result from risks personal to the employee; that is, they are caused by a pre-existing illness or condition, unrelated to employment.