Work breaks and travel between locations can affect eligibility of workers’ compensation benefits if an employee is hurt in an accident during those times. However, this is a grey area in which the person may or may not qualify, and because of the confusion, employers are not always clear on this point. If you believe that you do qualify and yet are being denied benefits, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer at a law office or over the phone. A free consultation can be all that is needed to answer your questions about benefits eligibility.
If I was injured while driving, do I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
This depends. In most cases, employees who are injured while commuting to or from work, are not covered, provided that they are not also running a work errand. For example, if someone is driving directly from home to the office and are hurt in an auto collision during that commute, they will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if they divert from their normal commute to pick up office supplies that were authorized for purchase by their employer, and during that diversion they are injured in an accident, they may qualify for benefits. Seek legal guidance from a workers’ compensation lawyer, like a Milwaukee work injury lawyer from Hickey & Turim, SC.
Additionally, if you left your office to run a work errand on behalf of your employer and are injured, you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The same is true if you were travelling between offices/campuses of your employer or to/from a customer’s location. Again, check with a workers’ compensation lawyer if your employer or their insurer denies your claim under these circumstances.
If I was injured while on my lunch break, do I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
This depends. You may be eligible to receive benefits if you were injured while on the grounds of your workplace. For example, if you were on your break in the company cafeteria or kitchen area and a ceiling panel falls and hits you, you should be covered. If you were at a work function in a restaurant and the chair you were sitting in collapsed, you should be covered by workers’ compensation for your resulting injury.
If you left your workplace and went to a non-work related event or location such as a restaurant and were injured while travelling to/from that location or while at that location, you will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if the accident that occurred was not your fault, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover your damages from the at-fault party, whether it’s a negligent motorist or a careless restaurant worker.
What is sidewalk coverage?
Another area of confusion insofar as workers’ compensation eligibility is that time when you first arrive in your employer’s parking lot and when you enter the building. What if you slip and fall on ice in the parking lot? What if you are injured when a motorist hits you or runs into your vehicle? Very likely you are covered if any of these scenarios occur. However, if the at-fault individual does not work for your employer and is a visitor, a delivery driver, or a contractor, your employer may deny your claim or their insurer may refuse to provide full coverage. Call a workers’ compensation lawyer to learn what legal options are available to you.