I was not hurt on company property. Do I still qualify for workers’ compensation?
Workers compensation is available to employees who have been injured or made ill while on the job. Employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance and offer it to employees, who in turn forfeit the right to sue their employer for negligence.
Workers’ compensation can be used to pay your medical bills and lost wages that result from your accident or illness.
Your eligibility for workers’ compensation doesn’t depend on where you were when the accident took place, even if you were off of company property. It is also a no-fault system, meaning you are eligible even if the accident was technically your fault.
What does matter is whether or not you were performing company-related work while the accident took pace. Here are a few different scenarios of being off company property in which you may or may not be able to file for workers’ compensation.
Delivery Drivers and Workers' Compensation
If you were injured in a company vehicle, or in your own licensed vehicle while doing company work, you are eligible for workers’ compensation, even if you are not on company premises. This is relevant for delivery drivers who may be injured in a car accident while making a delivery or who slip and fall or otherwise become injured while doing work away from company premises.
Slipping on the Sidewalk Outside of a Building
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident outside of your place of work while entering or leaving the workplace, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Again, this is a no-fault system, which means that even if your own negligence caused the accident, you are still eligible to receive compensation.
However, the accident has to be related to work in some way. For instance, if you decided to come to your place of work on your day off to hang around, and you slipped and fell outside of the building, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Company Picnic or Training Event
If you get hurt at a special offsite work event, such as a company picnic or training event, you are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation. Although it is not your typical everyday work, you are still considered to be on the job at a company-sponsored event, and therefore if you get hurt, you can be eligible for compensation.
Personal Errands on Company Time
If you leave the office while you are technically on the clock but are doing something that is not related to work, such as a personal errand, then you may or may not be eligible for workers’ compensation if you get in some sort of accident. Eligibility for workers’ compensation varies from state to state, and most states are split on whether this type of activity makes you ineligible.
Hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If you were injured while on the job, but the details surrounding the accident are not so cut and dry, you may be confused about whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation. You should always hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you understand your eligibility, get started on filing a claim, and make sure you maximize your chances of getting the compensation you need.