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What To Do If You Are Injured Outside Of Work?

Person with Blue Bandage on his Injured Arm
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Most people understand that businesses and companies have workers’ compensation insurance and that it typically covers injuries sustained while someone is in the workplace and performing their essential duties. For example, if someone falls off a ladder at their construction job and breaks their arm, that injury would be covered by workers’ compensation. But what about injuries that occur outside of work? Are there any situations where workers’ compensation would come into play when an employee is injured off the clock and their employer’s premises?
Below, our legal experts from Invictus Law will explore the key factors that employers and employees should understand, especially if they intend to seek compensation for an off-the-job injury. Please continue to find out what you need to know and consider contacting us if you need professional legal guidance and live in the Orange County area.
Related: Does Workers’ Compensation Affect Future Employment?

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?

Every state has a relevant agency and laws regarding workers’ compensation and the injuries and situations it will cover. Workers’ comp coverage aims to address legitimate accidents in the workplace and protect employees from a wide range of problems resulting in short- or long-term injuries. According to OSHA, an injury is work-related if it involves a work event or exposure to a work environment that caused or contributed to an injury to the aggravation of a preexisting illness or injury.

What Happens if Employees Are Injured Off The Job?

A doctor putting a cast on someone’s arm.
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According to the course and scope rule, employees who experience injuries outside of work may be eligible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if the injury occurs under the course or scope of their employment duties. Some examples of situations where workers’ comp insurance could cover injured employees include;

Regular Workday Travel

A few scenarios can impact workers’ comp for regular employee travel due to the “going and coming rule.” If an accident occurs during everyday workday travel to or from the workplace and an employee is injured, it’s not covered by workers’ comp in most states because everyone faces the general hazards of travel during their regular commutes. However, if the employee regularly travels as part of their work duties and is injured in an accident, it’s usually compensatable. For example, an electrician driving a company truck to a job site would likely be compensated.
You’ll probably need to research your state laws to determine whether or not you’re eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. It may help to also consider contacting a workers’ comp attorney who can help you navigate the situation.

Business Travel

Most forms of business travel are typically considered compensable in terms of employee injuries. This is due to the logic that an employee wouldn’t have been on the road if not for their job. For example, if an employee travels out of town to a significant business conference and gets into an accident, their injuries will likely qualify for compensation.
Have you been injured on or off the job and need to navigate the complex realm of workers’ compensation? Contact our professional legal experts at Invictus Law today to learn about our range of top-quality services and what they can do for your unique case.

Company-Sponsored Events

Many businesses, companies, and organizations host a variety of employee events, ranging from picnics and parties to baseball games and more. If a worker is injured at one of these company-sponsored events, some states classify the injury as work-related, making it compensable. However, these rules tend to vary considerably by state, and there are often crucial questions that will determine whether the injury is covered. For example;

  • Did the company sponsor the event?
  • Did the employer have event participants sign a waiver?
  • Did the employee benefit professionally from event attendance?
  • Were employees expected or required to attend?
  • Did the employer pay for the equipment or uniforms?

Related: Workers Comp Vs. Disability: What’s The Difference?

Employer Requests

If an employee is requested to travel outside the workplace by their superiors and becomes injured, they could be covered by workers’ comp. For example, if a company employer tells an employee to run an errand to the post office and they get hurt, they would likely be covered.

Other Employer-Controlled Areas Outside of The Primary Workplace

Workers’ compensation insurance likely provides coverage to employees injured in areas maintained by their employer outside of the workplace, such as walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots. Even if the employer hires a third party to maintain these areas, they are still responsible for what happens on their property.
Related: Can You Get Workers’ Comp and Disability at The Same Time?

What Should an Employee Do if They’re Injured Outside of Work?

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Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur during the course and scope of employment. Suppose an employee becomes injured outside the course and scope of their work and cannot continue to perform their duties as they recover. In that case, the employee might be eligible to apply for other things, including short or long-term disability and Family Medical Leave. They may also use sick time or PTO while recovering, and some companies may also offer alternate duties during recovery. Please speak to your employer and HR representative to learn about your unique options.

Can You Lose Your Job Due to an Off-Of-Work Injury?

In some cases, and depending on the state you live in, your employer may have the right to fire you for non-work-related injuries if you cannot perform your duties, though some employees may also receive job protection. If you lose your job due to an off-the-job injury, you may be eligible to file for unemployment. You may also pursue compensation from a party if they were responsible for your injury.

Need Help With Your Workers’ Comp Case? Contact Invictus Law Today!

Understanding and acquiring the workers’ compensation that you rightfully deserve can be difficult, particularly if you were injured in a situation where workers’ comp isn’t always applicable. If you’re located in or around the Orange County, California area and need to understand your unique case better, please consider contacting our legal experts at Invictus Law. We’re dedicated to helping you learn about and receive all of the compensation you may be entitled to. Also, please consider exploring our wide selection of other educational resources to access critical legal information.

Are you searching for an expert worker’s comp attorney in the Orange County area to take on your unique case? Please consider contacting our team of experts at Invictus Law today to learn about our top-quality services and how we can help get everything settled quickly.

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