Does My Injury Have to be at Work to be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s compensation laws were established to protect employees who are injured on the job. The Office of Workers’ Compensation is a federal agency that has rules and guidelines covering federal employees under workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation follows a rule of strict liability, which means that it is not necessary to prove that your employer is at fault for your injury in order to receive benefits as an injured employee.
In Florida, employees are covered if their injury occurred during the scope of employment, which usually means at work, during work hours and while performing work duties. But what happens if you are injured off premises? Can you still receive workers’ compensation? The answer is often yes, but there are many gray areas that make each case different.
Following are some examples of when you may or may not be covered after being injured off work premises:
- Travel — Commuting to and from a fixed site of employment is usually not covered. However, you may be covered if you were injured in an accident while driving to run an errand for your boss or commuting to and from a client’s home.
- Travel status — If you are injured while touring a city en route to or from a business meeting , this is usually not covered. However, you may be covered if you were injured while engaging in activities done in the normal course of a business trip, such as slipping in a hotel shower.
- Social events — Arriving intoxicated to a social event intended to further business interests and subsequently injuring yourself is usually not covered. However, you may be covered if you slipped and fell at the event through no fault of your own.
- Lunch breaks — Injuring yourself during a lunch break off premises is usually not covered. However, you may be covered if you were injured while also buying lunch for your boss.
The outcome of each and every workers’ compensation case will vary depending on the circumstances—it is therefore important to make sure that your case receives the proper individualized attention. If you were injured in a work-related accident, a workers’ compensation lawyer who understands the details of the law can help you win your case.