Injured Delaware Worker May Not Recover Toll and Parking Charges Associated with Traveling to Medical Appointments

A Delaware appellate court affirmed a finding by the state’s Industrial Accident Board that pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker was not entitled to reimbursement for tolls and parking expenses associated with her travel to receive medical treatment for her injuries [Failing v. State, 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 109 (Feb. 25, 2019)]. The worker, who had been reimbursed $761.20 for mileage over a ten-month period, sought an additional $114.75 for tolls and parking expenses. The Court reasoned that the wording of Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, § 2322 was clear and unambiguous. The employee’s reimbursement was limited to 40 cents per mile.

Statutory Provision Added in 1999

The Court observed that in 1999, subsection (g) had been added to section 2322 in response to a Board ruling that insurance carriers were no longer obligated to pay mileage expenses for individuals who were required to travel for medical services. The Legislature’s solution, codified by subsection (g), mandated that insurance carriers reimburse injured employees with a reasonable mileage expense, based upon the State of Delaware mileage reimbursement rate. The employee’s reimbursement could not, therefore, also include toll charges and fees paid for parking.

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