If you've been injured at work or while doing something work-related, your thoughts may turn to workers' compensation. This coverage helps workers pay medical and other associated costs as they recover from an injury. In general, workers' comp will compensate you for injuries and illnesses acquired during the course of work or activities associated with work. However, when you look at the details, some instances aren't covered by workers' comp even though your workplace may have been involved. It's vital to know when workers' comp might not come into play.
Offsite Injuries Not During the Course of Work but Related to Your Workday
That's a mouthful, yes. What it means is that if you're injured after getting out of work for the day, and you left late because of a last-minute work assignment, you can't claim that your work caused you to be in the wrong place at the wrong time after you left. If you leave work and get into an accident as you walk home on a public sidewalk, workers' comp won't apply. Even if this is frustrating to hear, it helps to know already that what happened to you doesn't qualify.
Recreational Activities, Even if Work-Sponsored
Oddly, there is a work-related time when workers' comp will likely not apply, and that's recreational activities sponsored by your workplace. If you go to a work-sponsored lunch for the holidays, for example, and you're injured in the parking lot of the restaurant where the lunch is held, that actually won't qualify for workers' compensation even though the get-together was technically related to your workplace.
It gets a little muddier if the injury takes place on your worksite, however. If you're attending a company holiday party at the office and you're injured there, you may have more of a chance of getting some workers' comp coverage. You'd need to speak with a job site accident lawyer or workers' comp lawyer to find out for sure.
Business Travel Is a Special Case
If you're injured during business travel, that can be a special case where you're not on your worksite and may not be engaging in activities that are immediately work-related—but you're in that location because your job sent you there. So, this is another situation where you'd have to speak with a job site accident attorney to figure out what to do as technically, you could call where you were a temporary job site.
Speak with a lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner you start the workers' comp process, the sooner you'll be able to get compensation and help with medical bills.