If I fell at work while on lunch break, which applies – worker’s comp or customer personal injury?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I fell at work while on lunch break, which applies – worker’s comp or customer personal injury?

I work for a large department store chain in Portland, OR. I had just clocked out for lunch, went to get food, and slipped on my way out. I have injuries to my knee, ankle, foot, and ribs. They are treating it as a worker’s comp claim but there was confusion as to whether it is worker’s comp or to be treated as a customer injury. I I would like to know which is true.

Asked on August 24, 2012 under Personal Injury, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Worker's comp applies to injuries caused by work--e.g. by your duties, by the equipment you use, by your coworkers while at work, etc. If you were on a break, then you would not get workers's compensation even if the accident occured on your employer's property.

You also may not be entitled to compensation on a negligence (customer personal injury) basis. A store does not act as the insurer for people on its property. The store is only liable for a person's injury if the store  or its staff were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in some way, and that caused the injury. Examples of this include not cleaning up water spills after they've become aware of them, so someone slips; having loose tiles or boards in the floor that trip someone; an employee running and bumping into someone, knocking them down; etc. However, if the store did nothing to cause you to slip, they would not be liable and would not owe you anything.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption