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Workers’ Compensation Coverage Outside of the Workplace

Written by on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 4:38pm

Workers’ compensation claims are not restricted to just your workplace. If you become injured outside of the workplace while you are working, you may still be covered. It depends on the situation, how you were injured, why you were outside of the office as well as other variables. Here are some situations that you would be covered compared to others that you would not.

Injured in a parking lot
You may or may not be covered under workers’ compensation if you were injured in a parking lot before, after or during the workday. One of the main factors considered is if the parking lot is an employee designated lot where employees are instructed to park. If so, you would likely be covered. If the parking lot or area was not designated for employees (such as a parking garage or street parking) and you chose to park there with no instruction from your employer, you would likely not be covered by workers’ compensation.

This also applies to other parking lot related injuries away from work which happened during work hours. For example, if you were instructed to go somewhere by your employer, and while arriving or leaving, you were injured in the parking lot of that location, you would likely have a claim. If your travel was of freewill, like grabbing lunch or coffee, then you would likely not have a claim. This is referred to as the “coming and going rule”.

Injuries during travel
Generally speaking, injuries that occur while traveling to and from work are not covered by workers’ compensation, although exceptions do apply. If you are paid or “on the clock” when driving to work, you may be entitled to benefits. Also, employees traveling to and from work-related meetings are likely covered under workers’ compensation.

Slip and fall related injuries
Slipping and falling at the workplace can cause injury, and in many of these situations, you would be covered by workers’ comp. Slipping and falling outside of the workplace has similar situational rules as injuries in parking lots. If your injury from falling occurs on employee designated property, and occurs in the course and scope of your employment, you would likely be covered. For example, icy employee parking lots when the job requires you to go into the parking lot. If you were to slip and fall while on the street walking to work or while getting out of your car while parked at a meter, it can be more difficult to have a legitimate claim, but there are circumstances where it could be compensable under workers’ compensation, and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can give you their opinion based on the facts of that specific incident.

When it comes to whether or not employees are covered by workers’ compensation, the details are very important. If the injury was caused during a non-work activity, like walking to work or parking on the street, the employer is usually not responsible. If the same injury occurs due to instructions or tasks from the employer, while in the course and scope of their employment, they can be held responsible.

Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult to understand, so it’s important to get legal help if an injury occurs. Our law firm has been practicing workers’ compensation law for decades, which gives us the knowledge and experience for success. If you need advice about a potential workers’ comp claim, kindly reach out to us for a quick and free chat. We’re happy to help!

About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.

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