What is a “Detour” & a “Frolic” In a Workers’ Compensation Case?

What is a “Detour” &  a “Frolic” In a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Many individuals who suffer on the job injuries believe that they have the ability to handle their workers’ compensation case on their own and without the assistance of an attorney who understands the South Carolina workers’ compensation system.1 However, these cases can often involve complex legal terminology and arguments used by employers and insurance companies to limit the amount of benefits they must pay to an injured worker. If such arguments arise in your workers’ compensation case, it is imperative to have the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer who can help defend against these arguments to maximize the benefits you receive.

Detour vs. Frolic

One example of legal terms used in workers’ compensation cases occurs when an employee sustains an injury while they are on the clock but have left the premises of the workplace. This often relates to situations in which an employee sustained an injury in a motor vehicle or traffic-related accident. In such cases, you may hear the terms “detour” and “frolic”2 during arguments raised by the insurer or employer. Both terms refer to physical departures from the employer and direct job duties and can affect an individual’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

A detour may be unrelated to job duties, but is only a minor departure from the regular business of the employer. For example, if a delivery driver strays from his usual route to stop and get a coffee, use the restroom, pick up dry cleaning, or simply see something of interest along the road, the departure will likely be considered minor and called a detour. If the employee is injured on the detour, he will likely still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

On the other hand, if the same driver took off for a couple of hours to watch a ball game, meet friends for a meal, or similar activities completely unrelated to work, the departure will likely be considered to be a frolic and any injuries occurring during the frolic will not be covered by workers’ compensation.

How an experienced Charleston workers’ compensation attorney can help

If your employer tries to avoid liability by wrongfully claiming you were on a frolic, an experienced lawyer at the Law Firm of Walter Hundley can defend against this argument by demonstrating that you were merely on a detour.  Please call our South Carolina office at 866-723-1995 or 866-723-1995 to discuss your case today.

References:

1http://www.wcc.sc.gov/Pages/default.aspx
2https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/frolic_and_detour

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