The waters can get murky when you’re dealing with an injury you received while traveling during work hours. Does your injury qualify for workers’ compensation? How do you know? Every situation requires an individual look, but the following are some basics that may lead you in the right direction.
No Fixed Work Place
If you work for a company and have no fixed place of work, you are generally covered by workers’ compensation as soon as you leave the house and are on the clock. For example, if you are a traveling salesman, and you are either on your way to your route or on your way home, and you are injured in a car accident, you can typically claim workers’ compensation.
Be sure you know what your employment considers on and off the clock. Your agreement could state that you are on the clock as soon as you knock on the first door, and off the clock as soon as you walk away from the last sales call. In that case, you wouldn’t receive compensation for injuries sustained while traveling to or from your jobsite. Injuries sustained while traveling from call to call would qualify.
On a Lunch Break
If you work in an office, decide to go out for lunch and are injured in a car accident, when might you be eligible for workers’ compensation? Not very often. Most lunch breaks taken in your personal vehicle are not considered being during the course of employment, and you wouldn’t have entitlement to workers’ comp. If your boss asks you to run an errand while you are out for lunch, that would change the situation entirely. You would then be doing something related to your employment, and could have a case for workers’ compensation.
On a Work Trip
When you travel out of town for work, you are generally covered for injuries sustained during your trip. For example, if you are sent by your boss to a training conference a few states away, and while driving from the hotel to the conference center, you are injured in an accident, you should receive compensation. If you decide to extend your trip a few days for personal purposes, and you are injured leaving the hotel and heading to the beach, you more than likely won’t receive compensation.
Learning the Details Surrounding Your Situation
Every situation is different, and that’s why you shouldn’t do anything until you have all the details regarding yours. For more information, or to learn what you should do, contact a work accident attorney in Newark today.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and travel injuries.