We talk a lot about how you can file a workers’ compensation claim if you are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance kicks in to cover medical expenses as you are treated for and recover from such injuries. It can also help cover lost wages and other damages associated with an on-the-job injury. However, just because you are injured in an accident on the job site doesn’t mean you’re automatically covered by workers’ compensation.
Whether or not workers’ compensation kicks in has less to do with where you were injured and more to do with what you were doing at the time of injury. The injury must be related to activity for work, but it doesn’t have to have occurred on the job site.
For example, imagine that you work for a medium-sized real estate office as an administrative assistant. Your boss is having an open house and she asks you to run errands such as picking up balloons or cupcakes and bringing them to the house in question. As you are driving, you are involved in an accident. Even though you weren’t at the office, you were involved in doing specific work tasks within the purview of your job description. Workers’ compensation might be an option in such a case.
Now consider a slightly similar example. You work for a plant as a machine operator. You leave the facility to walk across the street to get some lunch for yourself. This is not part of your job duties, so if you are involved in an accident during this activity, workers’ compensation might not be an option.
Notice in both of the illustrations, we say “might.” Workers’ compensation lines are not always black and white, which is why it can be a good idea to get a professional involved to help you figure out your case.
Source: FindLaw, “What Types of Injuries are Compensable Under Workers’ Compensation?,” accessed Oct. 21, 2016