When you are injured while working your 9 to 5 job at the office, you will likely be covered under workers’ compensation for medical bills and lost wages resulting from the injury. Workers’ compensation coverage is typically available to employees if an accident or injury occurs when performing work related duties. However when accidents occur outside of the day to day work setting, many wonder if they are covered.
Business Travel and Workers’ Compensation
Although coverage under workers’ compensation can vary from state to state, an injury that occurs while performing a work related activity is covered even if you are out of town on a business trip. This generally includes any activities that can be reasonably anticipated during the extent of the trip, such as an overnight stay in a hotel or taking a daily shuttle to and from a conference.
However, if during an out-of-town meeting, you decide to tack on a few days of vacation to explore the area and are injured, workers’ compensation may not be payable for the personal days of your stay. It is always best to check with an experienced workers compensation attorney to determine if you are eligible for coverage depending on the unique circumstances.
Workers’ Compensation – Traveling During the Work Day
If an employee is injured during travel as part of a regular work day delivering documents to other offices or seeing patients in home settings, for example, he or she will likely be covered if they are injured. However, using the example of a visiting nurse, if an injury occurs while traveling from home to the first patient of the day, or while returning home after seeing the last, workers’ compensation is likely not payable because travel may be considered part of a regular commute.
Injured During the Commute To and From Work
As previously stated, injuries sustained while traveling to and from work generally are not compensatable under workers’ compensation. The rationale is that employees like everyone else are subject to the hazards involved in the daily commute and are not acting within the course of their employment until they arrive at their work destinations and their duties conclude when they leave.
Injured While on Break or at Lunch
Unless you are taking lunch in the employee cafeteria or a break in the employee lounge, you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured while taking unpaid lunch off campus.
Workers’ Compensation When Injured at a Work Event
If you attend a work gathering or holiday party and the event is completely voluntary, workers’ compensation will likely not be payable if you are injured during the event. However an injury may be compensable if the event is optional, but those not attending are required to remain at work; there is coercion to attend or consequences for not attending; the event was a promo or marketing event that benefits the employer; clients are in attendance; or, if employees are working at an event or receive compensation for attending.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are injured on a business trip, while traveling during the work day, or while attending a work sponsored event, it is important to consult with an experienced Iowa and Illinois workers’ compensation insurance attorney to understand your rights. Contact the Davenport law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.