IS THE EMPLOYER RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES THAT OCCUR ON THE WAY TO OR FROM A MEDICAL APPOINTMENT?

By Debbie A. Beals, Paralegal to
Richard H. Irwin, Esq., Certified Workers Compensation Specialist

An employer bears the risk of incurring compensability liability under the California Workers’ Compensation Act for an injury suffered in route to or from a medical appointment related to an existing compensable injury.

If an employee suffers a new injury while traveling a reasonable distance, to or from a medical appointment for an existing compensable claim, the new injury will also be compensable. However, the employer will incur no liability if the employee travels an unreasonable distance to where the medical treatment was to occur and beyond “ the reasonable geographic area of his or her employer’s compensability risk.”

Each incident must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with consideration being given to:

1) the location of the employee’s residence;
2) the location of employee’s workplace;
3) the location of the medical facility;
4) the location of the employee’s attorney;
5) the location where the new injury occurred;
6) the route the employee takes to deviate from an reasonable direct route to the medical facility;
7) the availability of providers or medical specialists;
8) the distance between the medical provider’s office and the employee’s point of departure; and
9) the employee’s reason why travel was beyond “the reasonable geographic area of his or her employer’s compensability of risk.”

Limited provisions is implied in Labor Code, Section 4600.

Heiting & Irwin has over 100 years combined experience assisting those who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another, and has an entire department devoted to Workers’ Compensation matters supervised by Richard H. Irwin, a Board Certified Specialist in Worker’s Compensation. If you or someone you know has been injured, it is important to consult with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney in a timely fashion. To schedule a free consultation, please call our office at (951) 682-6400.

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