Workers’ Compensation and Equal Exposure Denial

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, seek help from a qualified Missouri workers’ compensation attorney.

Equal exposure is a defense tactic that workers’ compensation insurance companies often use to deny a claim for a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation was designed to help injured employees receive medical treatment and protect employers from possible lawsuits from these injured employees. Unfortunately, some employers may try to avoid payments necessitating the employee to seek help from a qualified Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced lawyer will know the common tricks an insurance company will use and how best to combat them.

gavel and scales of justice

What Is Equal Exposure?

The equal exposure defense analyzes the accident itself and essentially states that it could have just as easily happened outside of the workplace, making it non-work-related. For instance, a Missouri office worker making coffee in the break room may slip and injure her ankle. Since she was not performing a job-related task, she may be denied coverage for her injury. Had she gotten the same injury in the photocopy room, the outcome would be entirely different.

The rulings surrounding equal exposure defenses are fluid and very case-specific. A seasoned Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer knows what the courts need to hear to prove your claim was, in fact, work-related. As an employee, you have the right to appeal any decision made by your employer regarding your claim, and you may decide to exercise that right with the help of an attorney.

The Burden of Proof

The burden of proof weighs heavily in equal exposure defenses. Your Missouri workers’ compensation attorney has the difficult task of showing how the injury you sustained could not have happened to you anywhere else except your job. On the surface, this could seemingly lead to all claims being denied. However, Missouri courts are beginning to shift their rulings in favor of the employee. The general feeling is often that if the employee is on the premises of their employment, they have the right to be protected from injury.

When the Employee Is Injured Outside of the Work Premises

Of course, that belief does not extend to employees who leave the building regularly to do their jobs. Suppose an employee is injured outside of the work premises. In that case, a qualified Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer will still have to provide evidence that the employee was doing the job for which they were hired, and would not have been exposed to the accident that caused their injury otherwise.

Each workers’ compensation claim that is denied and appealed is heard by a panel of judges and decided on a case by case basis. There are dozens of mitigating factors to consider with workers’ compensation claims that make them more complicated than your typical civil lawsuit. For this reason, it is always wise to seek the counsel of a specialized workers’ compensation attorney to get you the compensation you deserve. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.

Workers Compensation Claim

Updated: June 17, 2021