QCOSTARICA – The Sala Segunda (Appeals Court) confirmed that an injury suffered in a traffic accident on the way to or from work is an occupational hazard and should be recognized as such.
The court decision follows the case of a worker seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a traffic accident on his way to work.
The Juzgado de Trabajo del Tercer Circuito Judicial de San José (Labour Cour) in Hatillo, awarded the employee, ordering the company to a monthly compensation for five years for permanent disability and a specific amount for temporary disability.
The company appealed the decision, raising the question that the accident occurred outside of work and not in a company vehicle and that the accident was not work related.
The employee was riding his own motorcycle at the time of the accident.
The higher court, in upholding the lower court decision, said the documentary evidence provided by the employee was enough to prove that the accident occurred on the “usual” way to work – that is to say taking the same route to and from work – and therefore deemed as a workplace accident.