Many Oklahoma employees have desk jobs that require them to sit and fill out forms. While sedentary jobs may not seem hazardous, it is possible to suffer an injury while sitting at a desk. However, people who sustain an injury at their desk will only be allowed to claim workers’ compensation benefits if they can prove that the injury arose out of their job duties.
A Chicago worker was denied workers’ compensation benefits after he failed to prove that his work injuries arose from his job duties. The man sustained a wrist injury while reaching for a pen that he had accidentally knocked to the floor while he was filling out forms. When the man’s chair slipped as he reached for the pen, he braced his fall with his hand and jammed his wrist. The man required surgery to repair his wrist injury.
Though the man was injured at work, the state Workers’ Compensation Commission denied his benefit claim, and an appellate court later affirmed the commission’s denial. The court found that the man was not required to reach for items on the floor as a condition of his employment, so an injury arising out of the act of reaching to the floor was not compensable under workers’ compensation insurance.
People may have a better chance of having their workers’ compensation claims approved if they have representation from an attorney. An attorney may be able to help an injured worker to prove that the workplace injury resulted from the performance of regular job duties. If a worker’s claim has already been denied, an attorney may help the worker to appeal the decision.