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Horseplay At The Office May Lead Independent Contractors To Sue

Employees covered under workers' compensation insurance may have a legitimate claim when hurt at work. Unfortunately, independent contractors and self-employed persons called to a job site cannot file for these insurance benefits. A business might hire someone as an independent contractor on a "test run" before offering the person full-time employment. If the new hire gets hurt on the job, the individual might pursue a personal injury case against the employer or another party. Horseplay or even deliberate actions by fellow workers or visitors might establish a basis for a lawsuit.

Negligence and Filing a Lawsuit

Negligence is critical to any personal injury lawsuit, including ones resulting from job site accidents. Someone either did something wrong or failed to act, leading to another person's injuries. When management or staff does something that causes an independent contractor to suffer harm, the contractor might have a credible lawsuit. For example, not cleaning the workplace's kitchen or break area could mean slippery floors and a resulting slip-and-fall accident. Horseplay-related accidents might appear worse considering their potentially avoidable nature.

Playing Around in the Office

Imagine an office party where the festive activities lead to workers throwing a basketball around. Attaching a basketball hoop to an office wall as a "stress reliever" may be a bad idea considering the ball could hit someone. When the employees decide to throw the ball around the office aggressively, someone may get hit in the face and suffer a broken nose. "Mere" horseplay and "kidding around" could become a serious matter since the injury victim must:

  • Seek medical attention and pay some or all the costs.
  • Miss work due to the injury and lose wages.
  • Deal with the pain, suffering, and mental stress of the injury

If the injured contractor took part in the activities, they might be partially responsible for the injuries. However, if the contractor refused to become involved with the horseplay or walked into the room not knowing what was taking place, the worker might not be at fault for the injuries. 

Examining Liability

Liability may fall on more shoulders than the person directly responsible for an injury. The person who threw the basketball could be liable, and so might the others who participated in the office game. Management may face negligence claims for allowing such behavior. Ultimately, job site accident victims could discuss the case with an attorney to determine a legal recourse.

Contact a job site accident lawyer to learn more.