Workers’ compensation is given to an employee who gets injured while performing a job-related duty under the direction of their employer, which includes compensation for their lost wages, medical treatment, and other assistance the employee may need. However, if the worker was off the clock and was injured, it is more than likely that they would not receive any workers’ compensation at all.
Many states describe workers’ compensation as providing benefits to an employee if they were injured while performing their job. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule, mainly during the period the worker travels from home to work and vice versa. Some examples are as follows:
- Traveling for work. If an employee is required to travel for their job to perform their work duties and is injured during the travel, for example, getting into a car accident driving to a hotel, the employee will be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. The travel alone is considered a job-related duty, so any injury that occurs during that travel will be covered.
- Special mission. If, while traveling away from work, a worker is instructed to perform a duty at the instruction of their employer, otherwise known as a special mission, that worker would be covered. It is when the employer requests their worker to perform a duty that is within the scope of their employment but also outside of their normal commute home. An example would be picking up supplies at a local store before commuting to work.
- Outside business hours. If an injury occurs during the employee’s shift, which may be an on-call shift or after-hours shift, workers’ compensation insurance will apply. This is because the injury occurred while the worker was performing their job duties, even if it was not during normal business hours.
- Area surrounding work. A worker walking or traveling through an area immediately outside their employment, such as a parking lot or crosswalk, may be covered, particularly if the employer controls the lot or the surrounding area. This area is for employees to use and is considered an extension of the main work area. For example, a worker leaves work and is walking to their car through the parking lot and is struck by a car. This scenario may be covered under workers’ compensation insurance.
- Visits. A worker may be covered if they are injured on their work’s premises even if they were just visiting, such as stopping to see a co-worker or picking up their paycheck and they suffered an injury. This is possible only if the employer was aware that the worker was there and consented to them being on the premises.
- Personal comfort doctrine. An example of the personal comfort doctrine is when an employee is on break but is injured on their employer’s premises. Technically, they are off the clock, but may still fall under their employer’s insurance.
The problem with workers’ compensation claims is that they are not as straightforward as they seem. Each is treated by a case-by-case basis, particularly if the injury occurred when the worker is off the clock. If you have been injured at work and are having difficulty receiving coverage for your injury, such as medical bills, treatment plans, disability, and therapy, it is highly recommended that you speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer first to determine if coverage applies to you.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Workers Receive Their Benefits
Being injured at work is never easy, and sometimes filing a workers’ compensation claim can be difficult depending on the circumstances. If you are having problems with your claim, reach out to the Downingtown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Our experienced legal team will fight for your rights to receive the benefits for which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.