Offsite Injuries: Are They Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation covers a variety of injuries sustained by workers on the job, from slips and falls to forklift accidents. But what if the worker is injured off-site?
Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Off-Site Injuries
Typically, workers’ compensation covers off-site injuries that are work-related. However it can be difficult to determine if the injury is work-related. Workers’ comp judges will need to decide if the employment caused the injury. Off-site injuries that may be covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Injuries sustained while traveling if:
- The employee is a traveling sales professional with no fixed job site.
- The employer provides a company car for transportation or reimburses the employee for travel expenses
- Injuries sustained during an off-site company-sponsored event, such as a Christmas party
- Injuries sustained during a company-sponsored recreational activity, such as a company fitness program or team-building games
- Injuries sustained during a recreational activity to entertain potential clients
Injuries Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation
If an employee sustained an injury during a lunch break, the employee typically isn’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The employee may only qualify for benefits if the employer benefited from the employee’s actions. For example, purchasing lunch for a boss so that the boss can continue working may be considered a work errand and covered by workers’ comp. However, if the employee runs personal errands during the lunch break and picks up food for coworkers, injuries won’t be covered by workers’ comp.
Injuries sustained during a work commute typically aren’t covered by workers’ comp because their work hours don’t begin until they’ve arrived at the workplace. However, commuting may be covered if the employee is performing work duties while driving. For example, transporting a client or boss may be considered work-related activity.
If you’ve sustained an injury while performing work activities off-site, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Insurance companies may look for reasons to deny your claim, and without an experienced lawyer you may not receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Thomas F. Martin, PLC for a consultation. His expertise in workers’ compensation is unmatched in Orange County and he will fight for your rights. Give his office a call today to build your case.