I Was Injured on my Lunch Break – Can I File for Workers’ Compensation?

Generally speaking, the location of the worker when an on-the-job injury happens is irrelevant. As long as you are carrying out business for your employer when you are injured, you’re probably covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, sometimes, circumstances complicate the question. An injury that happens on a lunch break is one such situation.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Before you can decide whether workers’ compensation covers an injury, you must understand the basics of the system. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of coverage that pays benefits to workers injured in the course of the job. This type of plan also covers those who become ill from exposure to something in the workplace. Each state has laws governing workers’ compensation coverage, including who pays for it, who administers the plan, and what type businesses are required to provide it.

Workers’ compensation plans also protect employers from lawsuits surrounding on-the-job injuries. In most cases, an employee receiving workers’ compensation benefits cannot sue the employer for personal injury to get additional compensation.

What Kind of Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

In most circumstances, an employee who is injured while carrying out the duties of the job is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. When you file a claim for benefits, the plan administrator will try to determine what you were doing when you were injured and where you were when the injury occurred. Here are some possible scenarios.

  • Your employer sends you out to pick up lunch for the department, yourself included. If you are in an accident while carrying out this directive, you’re probably covered under workers’ compensation.
  • You leave work on your lunch break to run a personal errand and get into an accident. You are probably not covered by workers’ compensation in this situation as you were not carrying out any job duties at the time.
  • You go out to eat on your lunch break and your boss calls and asks you to pick up something from the office supply store on your way back. If you get into an accident on the way back, the plan administrator will try to determine whether the employer’s request caused you to be in the crash to determine benefits.

Where Can I Find Help With Workers’ Compensation Claims?

If you get injured on the job and your employer disputes your right to benefits, contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney right away. Workers’ compensation laws include very tight timelines for reporting injuries and filing claims. Trying to manage the process alone can cost you thousands of dollars. A capable Hauppauge workers comp attorney can help you safeguard your right to compensation for your harms and losses.

Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and lunch break injuries.