Common Confusions Employees Face With Workers' Compensation Coverage

In some situations, it is not always clear to injured employees whether or not they are entitled to workers' compensation. This is because workers' compensation is meant to benefit all employees injured in the workplace, but there are exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions. For example, here are three situations in which you may or may not enjoy workers' compensation insurance if injured:

During Lunch Breaks

As a general rule, workers' compensation insurance isn't available to employees injured outside their workplaces. For example, you may not access the benefits if you are injured during a lunch break. However, there are exceptional cases where you can still be compensated for lunch break injuries. Here are a few examples of such cases:

  • You were eating in the company's cafeteria.
  • You were having a working lunch, for example, if you are hosting a prospective client
  • You did not leave the company's premises, for example, if you took your packed lunch under a shade tree in front of your office.

During Commute

Employees injured during commute do not usually enjoy workers' compensation benefits. Again, there are exceptions to this rule that may give you access to the benefits even if you are injured while commuting. Here are two examples of exceptions to this rule:

  • Injured on an errand – You are eligible for workers' compensation benefits if you were also running an errand for your boss at the time of your commute. A good example is if your boss asks you to deliver a parcel on your way home from work and you get injured on the way.
  • Injured on a business trip – If you are on a business trip, then you will be compensated for injuries sustained during the commute. So you should file a claim if you are out of your state for a business conference, and you are injured while driving from the hotel to the conference venue.

While Intoxicated

Lastly, you may also be barred from workers' compensation benefits if you are injured while intoxicated. This is especially true if your intoxication contributes to your accident. Again, this isn't an absolute rule, and there are situations where you may receive the benefits even if you were intoxicated during your accident. For example, you may access the benefits if the employer provided the alcohol, for example as part of a luncheon. In some states, you will get the benefits as long as your intoxication did not directly cause your injuries.

For more information, contact Zavodnick, Perlmutter & Boccia LLC or a similar firm.