Workers’ compensation is also a no-fault system. It makes no difference whether the injury was caused by your own or your employer’s negligence. All that matters is that you were injured on the job. However, there are a few instances in which workers’ compensation does not cover an injury.
What is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation covers injuries and illnesses that occur during the course of your work. Most courts have given this term a wide interpretation, which has benefited workers who have filed benefits claims. In general, your injuries will be covered if you were involved in an activity that benefits your company.
You are covered if you are injured at work while executing your job responsibilities. If you work in a restaurant and slip and fall, you are covered. Workplace injuries induced by repeated tasks are also covered. Carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, is covered.
What If I Get Hurt at Work During a Break?
Your injuries may still be covered by workers’ compensation if you are taking a break in your company’s break room or cafeteria. Staying onsite for lunch or rest breaks is considered an advantage to the business in many states since it saves time and keeps the employee accessible to the company.
If you are off the clock and are injured during your break, you are usually not entitled for benefits unless you are promoting your employer’s interests. If you were picking up lunch for a meeting or having an off-site business meeting, for example, your injury is likely to be covered.
What Happens If I Get Hurt at Work After I Leave Work?
Even after you have clocked out for the day, most states cover injuries once you leave work. This usually refers to accidents that occur in a parking lot owned or managed by your company while you are driving to and from work. Any injuries that occur after you’ve completed your job and left the company’s premises, on the other hand, are not covered.
Typical Workers’ Compensation Exclusions
While each state’s workers’ compensation rules vary, there are a few typical scenarios in which injuries are deemed to occur outside of what is covered. Below are a few instances that may not be covered. However, please check with an experienced personal injury attorney or workers’ compensation attorney for specific legal advice.
To and From Work
The “coming and going rule” usually applies if you are hurt while commuting to and from work. Travel to and from your permanent work location is not included. For example, if you are struck by a vehicle on your way to work in the morning, workers’ compensation will not pay for your injuries.
If you use a business vehicle, don’t have a permanent work location, or were on a work errand, your injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation. For example, if a traveling salesman is hurt while driving from home to the first client appointment of the day, the salesperson may be entitled to workers’ compensation payments. Or, if you’re picking up your boss’s lunch or running errands as part of your job, it is covered as well.
The majority of businesses provide team-building and leisure activities for its employees. Workers’ compensation may or may not cover injuries sustained during a social event, such as a corporate picnic, Christmas party, or happy hour, depending on the circumstances. Certain circumstances, such as the following, make it more probable that the injury will be covered:
The employee was required to attend the event, the employer benefited from the worker’s attendance or the activity took place during business hours on the employer’s premises. However, if an incident is voluntary, it is unlikely to be covered by workers’ compensation. Whether or whether a claim is covered under workers’ compensation depends entirely on the facts. If your accident occurred at a workplace social function, don’t assume it isn’t covered by workers’ compensation.