Injured Volunteers

When a volunteer gets hurt, what exposure does a nonprofit have?

One of your volunteers is performing work for your agency and sustains an injury.  The injured volunteer receives medical treatment and asks you if you can take care of their expenses.  How should you respond to this request?

The easiest way to handle this situation is with a volunteer accident policy.  This policy will cover medical expenses for volunteers providing services to your organization.  Injured volunteers generally just want their medical bills paid.  In the absence of a volunteer policy, the injured volunteer might bring suit for medical bills along with pain and suffering damages.  This would involve a claim against your general liability and/or your workers’ compensation policy.  These types of claims are generally much more expensive and develop an adversarial relationship with a volunteer who should be an ally.