Workers' Compensation Benefits: Not Just For On-Site Injuries

Although workers' compensation insurance is meant to cover workers who get hurt while at work, you may not necessarily be at work when you are hurt. If the injury situation can be linked to your job, however, you may still be covered. Read on and find out more. 

Away from the Workplace

Whether or not workers' compensation insurance covers accidents that occur away from the workplace depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. In general, workers' compensation insurance provides coverage for work-related injuries or illnesses, regardless of where they occur.

If an employee is traveling for work, for example, and is injured in a car accident, the injury may be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Similarly, if an employee is attending a work-related conference or event and is injured, the injury may be covered.

While Traveling Out of Town

Some workers must travel as a requirement of their jobs. Whether it's an occasional trip or a normal part of a job, injuries and illnesses related to job duties may be covered regardless of where they occurred. 

When an employee is traveling for work, they are in the "course and scope" of their employment, which means that they are covered by workers' compensation insurance for any work-related injuries or illnesses that occur during the trip. This includes injuries that occur while traveling to and from business meetings or events, as well as injuries that occur in the hotel or other accommodation provided by the employer.

However, it is important to note that there are some limitations to coverage for work-related travel. For example, if an employee is injured while participating in a non-work-related activity during their free time on the trip, the injury may not be covered by workers' compensation insurance.

In most cases, though it varies by the state, workers are covered 24/7 from the time they leave their homes until they are back from the trip. That includes being injured in a car accident while driving to the airport to catch the plane for the trip. There are exceptions, however. For example, if a worker decides to use some vacation time to extend a business trip, they would not be covered by workers' comp insurance for any incidents that occurred. 

It is important to note that each state has unique laws and regulations governing workers' compensation insurance, so the specific coverage and exclusions may vary. In any case, if an employee is unsure whether their injury is covered by workers' compensation insurance, they should speak with their employer or a workers' compensation attorney for guidance.