Can You Get Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Suffered While Traveling?
In Pennsylvania, as in other states, when you’re hurt during the course of your employment, you have the right to file for benefits under state workers’ compensation laws. In most cases, there’s little doubt about whether injuries are work-related, but in some situations, there can be uncertainty. One such situations is when an employee is traveling for work.
Injuries Sustained on Your Commute
As a general rule, injuries you suffer on your way to or from work—in a car accident, for example—are not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if you detour from your normal commute route to take care of some work-related task, you can get workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered on the detour. If your boss asks you to pick up food for co-workers on your way in, or stop at the post office on your way home, you can be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are in an accident while on the detour.
Furthermore, if the nature of your work puts you immediately on the road at the beginning of the day, you may be entitled to workers’ comp for an accident. For example, if you leave your home and head directly to your first sales appointment, you may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits if you are in a car wreck on the way to that appointment.
Injuries While at Conferences, Conventions, or Similar Events
If you are required to travel to a conference, seminar, convention, training, or other similar event for work, you can get workers’ compensation for injuries incurred on the way there or even while there, provided the activities you’re engaged in at the time of injury are not wholly personal. For example, if you slip and fall in the restaurant while at a convention, you should be eligible, as you had to eat while you were there. However, if you go to the gym at your hotel and hurt yourself on an exercise machine, your injuries probably won’t be covered.
Contact Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus, we have protected the rights of injured workers in Pennsylvania since 1980. We offer a free initial consultation. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, e-mail, and videoconference. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or contact us online.
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