What If I Was Injured, but Not in The Workplace?

Sometimes accidents occur when a person was performing a work-related duty, but they weren’t at the job site when it happened. Does this mean they aren’t eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits? Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the employee may still be able to collect compensation, even if they were off-site at the time. The concept of workers’ compensation is to cover the medical costs and other losses that employees endure due to an injury in the workplace.

Employees who unfortunately don’t know better, may not realize they could still be entitled to coverage even if their injury didn’t happen within the scope of their duties or during business hours. For clarity on your state laws pertaining to workers’ compensation benefits or for assistance fighting a wrongful denial, employees are encouraged to meet with a reputable attorney in their area. 

How do I know if I am eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

For an employee to be eligible for benefits under workers’ compensation insurance, they must have gotten hurt during the “scope of their employment”. Based on the nature of that employee’s job, what is defined as within the scope of employment may be different compared to other careers.

For instance, a traveling salesman may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured during a meeting with a potential client. Or, a construction worker may be entitled to benefits if he or she was harmed while on a break because a nearby machinery malfunctioned. So, defining what is considered the start and end of a person’s workday is a crucial element of their claim. 

Is a worker covered while commuting to their job?

Most states do not categorize injuries when traveling from home to work as a job-related injury accident. The United States Department of Labor refers to the “portal-to-portal” rule, where workers’ compensation coverage wouldn’t begin until that worker has arrived at his or her assigned workplace. Then, the coverage ends once they have vacated the work premises or “clocked out” for the day.  

What if an employee was running a work-related errand?

There are exceptions to this “portal-to-portal” rule. For example, a worker may still be eligible for benefits under a workers’ compensation program if their normal workday is interrupted in order to fulfill an errand, special mission, or other tasks requested by an employer. 

What about job duties performed outside of regular business hours?If a worker is assigned a duty that falls outside of their typical business hours and they are hurt, then their workers’ compensation claim may still be approved by the employer’s insurance company. But, employees are advised to follow up with their employer after filing a claim and continuing to look out for their best interests during this time, as a company may wrongfully deny a claim just to save money. If you are an injured worker who believes your claim was denied for sneaky or shady reasons, then your next step is to meet with a reliable attorney, like a workers’ comp lawyer in Milwaukee, WI from Hickey & Turim, SC.