The qualifications of a work-related injury are not cut and dry. Maybe you weren’t on workplace property, but you were doing something for the direct benefit of your employer. Or maybe you were technically on the clock, but were doing something you shouldn’t have been. You may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove your injury was work-related. However, if your injury falls within the gray area, it is in your best interests to consult with a skilled lawyer concerning your specific situation. Read on for information aboutÂ injuries you may be surprised to find out are covered by workers’ compensation, and some that fall into the gray area.
Generally Covered By Workers’ Compensation
Company Events Many employers throw company events annually such as barbecues, parties, and sports games. Injuries sustained at company events are generally considered work-related. Misconduct You usually can receive benefits even if you were doing something prohibited, or even illegal. This is part of workers’ compensation bargain: employees can file a claim even if the employer wasn’t at fault, but they exchange that for the right to sue the employer outside of workers’ compensation. Let’s say you work on a construction site and decided to throw a tool over to a coworker instead of walking it over. Well, you throw your back out in the process. You will probably be covered under workers’ comp even though you were breaking a safety rule of the company. Preexisting Conditions A preexisting condition that is flared up by work-related duties is generally covered. For example, you sustained a back injury prior to being hired at your current workplace. While on-the-job, you lift a heavy object and it causes your back injury recur. This will still be covered under workers comp.
May or May Not Be Covered By Workers’
Lunch Breaks Generally, injuries that occur during an employee’s break time do not count as work-related injuries, even if they occurred at the workplace. However, there may be some exceptions. Let’s say you break your leg while walking to pick up pizza for yourself, your coworkers, and your boss during your lunch break. Because you were picking up lunch for your boss, you may be able to present this as a work-related injury. If you break your leg while taking your lunch break in the workplace cafeteria, you may be able to present this as a work-related injury as well, if you prepare a solid argument as to why the use of the employee cafeteria is beneficial to the employer. Travel Injuries sustained while commuting to and from work are usually not considered work-related. However, if you were driving a company vehicle or your nature of business in primarily travel (for example, traveling salesperson), it could be considered work-related. If you are injured while on a business trip or while traveling for work-related duties, it will probably be covered.