Author Topic: Bike crash - at work  (Read 4703 times)

kaeldra

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Bike crash - at work
« on: May 24, 2013, 11:21:48 PM »
I bike to work, and my company is fortunately very bike-friendly. Unfortunately, earlier this week I crashed my bike entering the parking garage where there's a storage room I can lock my bike in. The pavement inside the parking garage is much smoother than outside, and my wet tire slid out - I wound up at the ER with a broken arm and stitches.

My coworker says that the building owners (who are also my employers) are liable for my medical expenses and thinks their insurance should cover it. Coworkers have also suggested that I shouldn't have to use my PTO since it was an injury at work. From what I can tell, workman's comp does not apply since I wasn't 'clocked in' yet, just commuting to work. If it makes any difference, I'm in Washington State.

I know you are not lawyers, but you may have some more knowledge/experience in this area than I do. I don't want to screw up my friendly bike-to-work situation for me and my coworkers or needlessly piss off my boss. But I have a $1500 deductible, which is a chunk of change. And I am one of the youngest people at my office so I'm wary of being taken advantage of. Thanks for your advice :)

kikichewie

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 06:33:46 AM »
I have heard that there is a lot of discrimination against people who have filed workers comp claims.  I've even seen the question on application/hiring forms. Personally, I wouldn't file a claim bc in my mind the injury wasn't work-related.  However, if the building design was at fault, that could be a totally different type of insurance claim that would be legit.  Just be careful, especially if you can't manage the potential sudden loss of your job.

kikichewie

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 06:35:56 AM »
And please stop talking to your coworkers about it.  You could be putting all of them at risk if your employers really want to be nasty.  I've seen the "slash and burn" response personally.

Left

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 07:00:30 AM »
I don't think it qualifies for work comp, because you aren't clocked in, at least I've seen it where I work...

but you should qualify for short term medical leave, not PTO...
But do report the fall to the employer, they might suggest you make a claim too, but if anything, it'll let them know they are liable for the smooth floors and slippery when wet. So at the least they will have to put up the slippery when we cones. Not much for you but might prevent someone else from falling :S

The only other thing that I could suggest is maybe they can help cover the ER costs because it did happen while on the premises

Spork

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 07:47:07 AM »
My take is similar to eyem...  I'd bring it up and feel them out on their response.  It is where you work and you don't really want to be branded a toublemaker.  But if the concrete isn't a swept concrete (or it gets some slippery environmental goo on it) and is slick as snot...  someone else is going to fall at some point.  They need to know that.  The liability could be high.

kaeldra

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 11:24:37 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts, all. I plan to proceed with caution, might wait until I get the ER bill to see how much it is. So far my boss has been totally mum about liability etc, my coworker actually approached me about it because she thinks they're going to try to avoid responsibility. Also, another cyclist fell in the same location a week earlier but forgot to warn the rest of us about it, so it's definitely a hazard.

StarryC

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 11:23:18 AM »
Some building/premises insurance policies have a "med pay" clause for no fault benefits.  Maybe $3,000 to $5,000.  You would be filing a claim, but wouldn't have to sue.  It would pay your bills but no pain and suffering. (The goal is to keep you from suing by paint your out of pocket expenses without you needing to get a lawyer.)

Also, your car insurance (if you have it) might pay for injuries you have while biking.  Most don't, but some do so it might be worth a call to check. 

Businesses certainly aren't legally allowed to discriminate based on a workman's comp claim, but it is difficult to prove.  This doesn't seem like a workman's comp claim though, but I'm not a Washington Workman's Comp lawyer. 



tuyop

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 11:30:04 AM »
Why wouldn't you talk to a lawyer in this case? Find one who will give you a free, confidential consultation and figure this stuff out.

yolfer

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 02:10:39 PM »
Why wouldn't you talk to a lawyer in this case? Find one who will give you a free, confidential consultation and figure this stuff out.

Agreed! Find a good personal injury lawyer and at least see what he/she would recommend. I know of one in Seattle, I'll PM you.

$_gone_amok

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Re: Bike crash - at work
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 03:44:21 PM »
I am not a lawyer but I think your employer is at responsible for your accident because it happened on work premise.  I think the same concept applies to homeowners insurance - to protected against injuries and liabilities if someone falls trips and falls in your home and break their arm.  Commercial build should have something similar. Talk to a lawyer.