“The workplace” does not mean what it used to. For years, most people commuted to their jobs at a fixed location — an office, factory, warehouse, construction site, store, restaurant, etc.
Changing workplaces in Sioux Falls
Now, thanks to technology and the changing nature of what Americans do for a living, a workplace can be virtually anywhere. Thanks to the pandemic, millions of Americans were forced to work from home for months or years. Many of them are never going back. Other jobs, like delivery driver and trucker, require workers to spend most of their shifts on the road. But a work-related injury is just as painful and disabling no matter where it occurs. So, if you get hurt while working outside of a traditional workplace, are you still eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in South Dakota?
Anywhere you work, you can sustain a work injury
The answer is yes. South Dakota’s workers’ comp laws do not focus on whether a claim arises out of an incident at a fixed workspace. The requirement is that the injury happened “out of and in the course of employment.” As long as you were hurt or sickened as the result of your work duties, you should qualify for workers’ comp, whether the injury happened in a factory, on a highway or at your kitchen table. A car accident while on your route delivering packages is just as legitimate of a work accident as a fall at a construction site or getting exposed to toxic chemicals at a plant.
Getting approved for the benefits you are entitled to can be a challenge. Many employers, urged on by their workers’ comp insurance provider, regularly reject valid claims, make lowball settlement offers or threaten workers who attempt to report an injury or file a claim. An attorney who practices workers’ comp law can advise you of your rights and help you defend them to help you get fair compensation.