How Workers’ Compensation Injuries Can Be Odd Lot Doctrine Cases


How Odd Lot Doctrine is related to Workers’ Compensation

A workplace injury is fairly common and in most cases, the injured person will recover soon enough to resume work again. But, what if the injury renders you incapable of work forever? You could be asked to find work an alternative job that is different from your old one.


Even so, what would happen if you are not in a state to perform those duties either? What does someone with a situation like that do? Under these circumstances, an injured person might be covered for benefits under the ‘Odd lot Doctrine.’


What is the “Odd Lot Doctrine”?

Odd Lot Doctrine, which has its roots in England’s workers’ compensation system is “a principle of workers’ compensation law which allows a finding of total disability for an injured claimant who is not totally incapacitated for all work but cannot obtain regular employment and steady income.” The person can be considered totally disabled if there is no reasonably dependable market for his or her services. Such individuals are an “odd lot” in the labor market and hence the name.


In the year 2001, a decision of Odd Lot Doctrine was voted in favor of the petitioner. The details of the case can be found here. In this particular case the petitioner, a mechanic suffered severe lower back injuries when he was lifting a heavy tire. After 6 months of treatment when he returned to work the pain in the lower back returned, and doctors confirmed that he could not do strenuous work for the rest of his life.


It was also determined that the petitioner had left school in ninth grade. An expert evaluation revealed that he had very limited verbal and mathematical skills. Under these conditions, it was determined that he was incapable of a regular income and employment. He was awarded workers’ compensation benefits under the Odd Lot Doctrine.


To be eligible for workers’ compensation under the Odd Lot Doctrine you must qualify for two factors:

  1.     Your disability must be 75% or higher from the accident that happened when you were working. A judge will determine this by going through your medical records.
  2.     Sufficient proof should be produced that confirms that you are ineligible or incapable of performing any other alternate work.


The final decision in the Odd Lot Doctrine is made in court. The idea is to acknowledge that your disability is not limited to just 75%, but due to other factors, you are totally incapable of finding work. As this is a complicated procedure and your fate is decided by a judge, it’s better to consult a workers’ compensation attorney to understand if your case qualifies.


Other factors like your age and your education play a key role in being compensated under this law.


For example, your physical injuries make you incapable of performing a job that is physically intense, and if you do not have the right qualification, you might not be eligible to apply for an office job. Also if you are more than 60 years of age, physical exertion is a challenge. In this case, you might be eligible for compensation under the Odd Lot Doctrine.  


When you are injured at work it is important to note the following points:

  • Seek immediate medical attention to prevent serious medical complications.
  • Report your injury within 14 days of the date of injury. Timely reporting is essential to claim your benefits under workers’ compensation.
  • Keep a record of all your medical bills, doctor’s visits and hospital admissions.
  • Contact a work injury lawyer to get proper guidance before you claim your benefits.
  • Do not get intimidated by your employer and sign documents that could kill your case
  • Do not take legal advice from anyone that is not a lawyer


If you have a possible Odd Lot Doctrine case or have questions regarding a legal matter, the dedicated attorneys at Goldberg & Wolf strive to provide superior legal services to all clients. We welcome the opportunity to review your case and provide you with a high level of service. Contact us today at (856) 651-1600 to speak with a member of our legal team for more information.