You stumble and fall on a piece of broken concrete in the parking lot outside your employer’s office building and get badly injured. Or, maybe you’re running some errands for the company when a distracted driver sideswipes your vehicle and you’re seriously hurt. It looks like you may be off work for a while as you recover.
Are you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits? Maybe. Employers are only usually responsible for an employee’s work-related injuries — but those aren’t always confined to the company property or a worksite. Plenty of work-related injuries take place outside an employer’s building or grounds.
The real question that may control whether or not you’re eligible for benefits may be, “What were you doing when you were injured?” If you were injured during your daily commute, for example, the “coming and going” rule mostly excuses your employer from any obligation for your accident and injuries. Similarly, if you’re out in a company truck but you’re injured while running some personal errands, that wouldn’t likely fall under the banner of a workers’ comp claim.
However, if you were out of the office and running errands at the behest of your boss or as part of your job duties, you could reasonably expect your employer to accept the liability. For example, if you’re a salesman who has to check in at satellite offices twice a day and you’re injured while doing so, that probably would be an exception to the “coming and going” rule.
The nuances of a workers’ compensation claim can be difficult to follow, especially when you weren’t actually inside the company’s building when you got hurt. Don’t rely on your employer or their insurance company to get it right. Find out more about your legal rights today by speaking with an experienced attorney.