A pedestrian was hit and seriously hurt in a parking lot in Raytown, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. Details surrounding the car accident suggest that workers’ compensation will also become implicated.
Pedestrian Hit in School Parking Lot
The incident happened early in the morning of February 6, 2019. According to initial reports, a 69-year-old woman was hit in the parking lot of a school in Raytown by a truck that was salting the icy lot.
When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, the victim was reportedly in and out of consciousness. She was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Implicating a Negligent Party’s Employer: Respondeat Superior
An important aspect of this particular incident is that – assuming the negligent party was the driver of the truck – the victim should be able to implicate the truck driver’s employer through the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. The term is Latin for “let the boss answer.”
Personal injury law in Missouri recognizes that workers can act negligently while on the job. When this happens and someone gets hurt, respondeat superior will stretch liability for the accident through the negligent worker to the employer. After all, the employer was the one who was truly benefiting from the work that was being done. Additionally, what happened would not have occurred, were it not for the employer telling the worker to do it.
Situation Falls into Heated Debate in Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation can also be a factor in the victim’s recovery process. Based on the preliminary reports, it seems as if the victim was on her way to her job at the time of the accident: The incident happened at 6:20 in the morning at an elementary school, in the parking lot. Some outlets have even indicated that the victim “was a district employee.”
If so, the situation falls into one of the most intense debates in workers’ compensation law: When does the job start?
Under Missouri Statute § 287.020.3, workers’ compensation only covers injuries that happen while on the job. As this particular situation indicates, determining the instant that a job begins is essential. Does it begin when the employee:
- Clocks in?
- First steps onto the worksite?
- First steps onto the employer’s premises?
- First enters the premises, even if they are still in their car?
- Reaches the halfway point between their home and their workplace?
- Leaves their home?
The inquiry is extremely fact-intensive, and depends on how the injury happened. If it came from a risk that was not associated with work or that is equally present away from the worksite, workers’ compensation might not cover the incident. Even the contents of a victim’s suitcase can impact workers’ compensation coverage.
Personal Injury Lawyers at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph
If you have been hurt in a car accident or on the worksite, the personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph can help. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373 to get your case started.