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De Novo Trial

Literally translated to "beginning anew."  If a claimant files an appeal of the Commission's decision to the Circuit Court, the trial on appeal is essentially de novo and the parties are not confined to only the evidence that was submitted before the Commission.

Death Benefits

An award of compensation that a deceased worker's family may be entitled to if the deceased worker died as the result of a work-related accidental injury or occupational disease.   Click here to read more about death benefits.


Arguments that can be made by the employer/insurer to show that the employee is not entitled to workers' compensation benefits.  Defenses include horseplay and  intoxication.


A decision from the Workers' Compensation Commission that the employee is not entitled to certain workers' compensation benefits.  The insurance company may also issue a denial of benefits, which can be addressed at a hearing before the Commission.


A person who relies in whole or in part upon a worker for the reasonable necessities of life or to maintain his or her accustomed mode of living.  When calculating death benefits, the Commission must make a determination of which people are considered dependents.


Oral, out-of-court testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or at a workers' compensation hearing, or for discovery purposes.


A period of time or set of actions that constitute a break from the general work duties.  Deviations bar recovery via workers' comp.  Examples include horseplay, willful misconduct, intentional injury, or intoxication via alcohol or drugs.  Deviations usually must be significant to prevent recovery and it usually needs to be the deviation that caused the injury.


The identification of the nature and cause of an accidental injury or occupational disease.


Rendered unable as the result of an accidental personal injury or an occupational disease to perform work for which the person was previously qualified


The event that causes an employee to become partially or totally incapacitated


Disfigured or disfigurement is a lasting physical injury, impairment, or scar.  It usually, but not always, is visible.  Mutilation or Disfigurement is often a compensable injury in workers comp, though the maximum rate is 156 weeks.  Also see scar.

Disputed Workers' Comp Claim

This could mean a (1) newly filed claim from the date it is filed until the employer or insurer commences paying the claim or until the consideration date has expired, (2) new claim in which issues have been filed, (3) pending claim in which one or more issues have been filed, or (4) claim that is pending on appeal.

Dual Purpose Doctrine

An exception to the "going and coming rule." If you were going home, but you were going to work the second half of the day at home and this is something you regularly do, this would qualify as an exception.  The “mission” for the employer must be at least a big a part of the travel need as the personal part.

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