Workers’ Compensation for Traveling Employees
As an employee who travels, you may wonder whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation when involved in a car accident. It really depends on what you were doing and when. The following breaks it down to help you understand, though you should contact an attorney to learn more specifics.
Traveling Long Distance
If you are headed out of town to attend a conference related to your job, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation if involved in a car accident on the way there. You wouldn’t normally have been in that particular accident, but because work placed you there, it would be considered work-related.
Perhaps you flew to the opposite end of the country to attend your conference. During that time, you were allowed a rental car to go sightseeing. If you and some coworkers head out on an excursion during a break in your conference, it’s possible a car accident injury would be covered because you are out as a group of coworkers during the conference. If you choose to extend your trip a few days for personal vacation time and are injured in a car accident during that time, you wouldn’t receive workers’ compensation because you would then be off the clock completely.
If you are some type of traveling salesman and have no fixed place of work, you may be entitled to compensation. For example, if your contract states you are on the clock as soon as you get in the car in the morning until you pull back in during the evening, you may be compensated for any accidents occurring during that day. If your contract states you are on the clock as soon as you arrive at your first call, and off the clock as soon as you get in the car after your last call, you may not be compensated for injuries sustained in an accident going to that first call or home from the last call.
Working from Home
Individuals who work from home pose a unique situation for businesses. In some cases, you would be considered a contracted worker, for which workers’ compensation generally doesn’t apply. If you are an official employee, you might be able to receive coverage. For example, if you do some type of production work at home and need to run to the local hardware store for supplies during the day, you could receive benefits for an accident during that errand. If you involve personal errands like a trip to the grocery store or to pick up your child from school, you may forfeit your right to workers’ compensation.
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