Generally, if one is injured while commuting to or from work, they are not covered by Workers’ Compensation. However, several exceptions do exist.
Some of the exceptions include:
- Employees who have no fixed place of work. An example of this is if a salesperson or service person works in the field.
- Employees who are on-call. Any injuries that have occurred while commuting to or from the job may be compensable.
- Employees who are injured while driving a company car. Depending on the circumstances concerning the incident, workers’ compensation may apply.
- Employees who are traveling for business. Any injuries that have occurred while traveling on business will likely be covered.
If you are injured while commuting to or from work or driving between designated appointments, it is advised to contact a qualified work injury lawyer to ensure the most favorable outcome.
Does Workers’ Compensation Apply to a Lunch Break Injury?
An injury that occurred while away from the work location is usually not covered. However, if a worker’s job description includes food delivery, an injury may be compensable.
If the injury is sustained at an employer-sponsored social event, such as a birthday celebration at a restaurant or the workplace, workers’ compensation may apply. If an employee’s attendance was expected by the employer than workers’ compensation can apply regardless of whether the employee is on or off the clock.
When Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Cover the Damages
Many people will believe that the case is closed if injuries occur off the clock or offsite. That is not necessarily true.
An injured worker has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit outside of the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation doesn’t include punitive damages for lax safety or dangerous conditions, nor does workers’ compensation cover pain and suffering.
If the responsibility for the injury lies with a third party or the employer, a personal injury lawsuit may be in order. If the injury is a result of a defective product or a toxic substance, the manufacturer may be liable.
Additionally, social security disability benefits may apply if an injury results in a partial or total disability.
Note: If the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the injured worker can sue in civil court. There may also be a state fund from which to collect.
Does Workers’ Compensation Apply in Cases of Employee Misconduct or Illegal Acts on Job?
Workers’ Compensation laws were developed to protect employers from liability while ensuring workers’ injuries would be covered. This is regardless of most circumstances but also with the exception of many self-inflicted injuries.
Although an employer may state that misconduct may be a factor in the determination process, even the criminal activity does not automatically disqualify a worker from workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Us Today
Email or call Goldberg & Wolf Law today at (856) 652-1600 to schedule a free consultation. One of our highly experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will help you to understand the complicated claims process so that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities.