Arizona Q&A Board

Q&A Log - Arizona

Worker ' s Compensation

Injured by a Stray Bullet
Question: A lineman is climbing a utility pole. The employee cries out suddenly and shortly thereafter goes limp. The employee is rescued from the pole and rushed to the ER where they discover a bullet wound and spends several days in critical condition in the hospital. It is believed that the bullet came from an individual who broke the rules at a nearby shooting range by firing his rifle into the air. Is it compensable?   -Nate B. 1/31/21

Answer: Because the lineman was performing his duty, and was engaged in work, this injury would most likely be compensable. Because workers' compensation is considered a 'No-Fault' system, injuries that occur to an employee at work, even if the injury was unrelated to the task, are covered. (Source: https://www.azica.gov/claims-workers-compensation-general-information "Workers’ Compensation is a “no-fault” system in which you receive medical and compensation benefits NO MATTER WHO [emphasis added] caused the job-related accident" ) -McKell S. 2/9/21

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