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What injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation?

Thankfully, the vast majority of workers in the state of Iowa are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance of their employers. Benefits provided by workers’ compensation can prove invaluable to an employee who is recovering from an incapacitating illness or injury. Although it will vary from state to state, most work-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. However, there are some injuries that are excluded.


If an employee is injured while commuting to or from his or her place of employment, the “coming and going rule” usually applies. This rule states that traveling to and from a fixed work site is not deemed within the scope of employment. For example, if a worker is hit by a car while on the way to the office, workers’ compensation will typically not cover any injuries suffered.

Fighting or horseplay in the workplace

Fighting, horseplay and practical jokes fall outside of the scope of employment, so any injuries related to these things are usually not covered by workers’ compensation. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if ongoing horseplay is tolerated by the employer or if innocent bystanders are injured by fighting or horseplay, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Applying for workers’ compensation is very common following an accident that happens in the workplace. However, the process of applying for worker’s comp is not always straightforward and can be quite confusing. Those in Iowa who are injured at work and need assistance filing for workers’ compensation could benefit by consulting a seasoned legal representative. A knowledgeable attorney can answer tough questions and help injured workers begin the filing process.