Many employees are comforted by the fact that workers’ compensation will provide for them if they suffer an accident on the job.
However, what few people realize is that injures suffered away from their normal job sites may also be considered work-related—and therefore eligible for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation May Pay for Injuries That Occur Outside of Work
Under Florida law, an employer can be held legally liable for the costs of a work injury that occurred in scope and course of employment. Employees often perform tasks that are required, initiated, or requested by the employer, and can therefore be considered work-related duties.
For example, workers’ comp may be available when an employee is:
- Traveling for work reasons. Many jobs involve occasional travel, and some occupations require travel as a main component of the job. Naturally, employees who don't have one specific job location should be covered any time they're working (such as injuries to flight attendants or truck drivers) rather than if they are “at work.”
Employees traveling to complete a job-oriented task—such as going to a meeting, attending a conference, or meeting a client—can collect benefits if they're injured during this travel. Even employees not performing work-related activities at the time of the injury can receive benefits, since they wouldn't have been at the location of injury if they weren't required to be there for work.
- Driving to or from work. Most injuries that occur during an employee’s daily commute to or from work are not compensable under workers’ compensation. However, there are a few exceptions. If your manager asks you to do a work-related activity on the way to work or as you travel back home, any injuries sustained in completing the task are eligible for compensation. Employees who commute in a company-owned vehicle or drive to multiple job locations in the course of their shifts may also receive benefits.
- At a work-sponsored event. An employee can collect benefits if he or she is at an event thrown by or catered by the employer. These events may include holiday parties, baseball games, trips to amusement parks, and other instances where the employer provided the event as a benefit to the employee. Courts typically determine liability by considering whether attendance for the event was mandatory or voluntary, so it's a good idea to consult with an attorney for help with these types of injuries.
In most cases, liability for offsite injuries depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your injury. If you have questions after an accident on the job, our attorneys can advise you of your legal options. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation.