February 23, 2011

What Qualifies as a Workers' Compensation Injury in Oregon?

How do you know if your injury would be classified as a "work injury" under Oregon workers' compensation laws?  This is a tricky question and can be difficult for even attorneys and judges familiar with workers' compensation to answer.  However, there are several basic concepts that are a good starting place.  In Oregon, a work injury is described under the law as "arising out of and in the course of employment."

An Oregon work injury "arises out of" employment when it was the employment itself that caused the injury.  This portion of the legal requirement is met if your injury was the result of pretty much anything relating to your employment.  This could mean all sorts of things from driving your car on a work errand to running and tripping in your office because you were late for a meeting.

An injury is "in the course of employment" when it happens while performing job-related duties.  This means that you have a work injury if it was sustained while actually doing work.  For example, if you were injured while lifting a box of office supplies at work, you have a work injury.  But if you were injured while doing a handstand in the hallway, you probably do not have a work injury.  (Unless your boss asked you to do the handstand, of course!) 

With all this in mind, it is a good rule of thumb that if you were injured while on your employer's property or premises, it counts as a work injury under Oregon's workers' compensation laws.

If you are not sure if you have a work injury, check out additional information on my website www.oregonworkinjury.com or give me a call at (503) 975-5535.

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