These days, there are almost limitless places you can work. Some employees can work anywhere they choose. Others have home offices, and some fly all over the world for work.
This raises questions about workers’ compensation. We’ve already covered ways you can be compensated while working from home. Now let’s discuss how workers’ compensation operates when you are hurt on a business trip.
Whenever you must travel for work, whether locally or miles away, you can receive workers’ comp for your injuries.
Injuries Sustained While Performing Your Duties
When you are actively doing your job, you should be covered by worker’s comp, regardless of where you’re located.
If you’ve been hurt while on a trip, make meticulous records of where you were hurt and what you were doing. Say you are taking the hotel stairs, walking down to a conference room meeting. Along the way, you twist your ankle and fall down the stairs. After receiving treatment, you should take pictures of the staircase and your injuries. You should mark down the time of your injury, and record the fact that you were specifically walking to a work meeting.
The same standard applies if you attend a mandatory work event, even if that event’s only purpose is for pleasure. If you had to be there, you could be compensated for any injuries sustained.
Injuries Sustained While Traveling
Generally, a commute to and from work is not covered by workers’ compensation. If the travel itself is part of the job, however, you could receive benefits if you are hurt during the trip. Even if you are asked to get coffee for the boss, that trip may be covered.
Therefore, any travel related to a business trip should be covered by workers’ comp. Injuries sustained while traveling to and from the airport, hotel, and business meetings should be eligible for benefits.
If an insurer denies your travel-related injuries, talk to an attorney right away. They can help clear the situation up and could get the insurance company to do its job.
Travel Sustained During Free Time
Before exploring this issue, let’s define “free time.” Generally, workers’ comp covers people under the “doctrine of personal comfort.” When you’re at the office, you can still get compensation if you are hurt in the breakroom, bathroom, or even taking a quick smoke break. If, while you are working out of town, you are hurt while walking to the restroom, grabbing a snack, etc., you should be able to receive compensation.
This standard may even apply to spending time in your hotel room. Even if you aren’t actively working, staying in your room is technically part of the job, and you could receive compensation for any injuries you happen to sustain.
In this context, we’re considering “free time” any time that you are not on the clock, and you’re away from the hotel. Imagine, for instance, you decide to go explore the city. If you are harmed during a jaunt this is not work-related, you may not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. If such an injury does occur, speak with an attorney. They may be able to help negotiate and get you at least partial benefits.
If you’ve been hurt on a business trip, reach out to our firm for help. Call us at (714) 909-2609 for a free consultation, or schedule time with us online.