In general, workers’ compensation covers employees who are injured in accidents that occur on the job. These commonly include accidents at construction sites and factories, carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive tasks, and slip and fall accidents. However, for employees who regularly travel for their job, whether it is long-distance travel or just driving from job site to job site, questions of eligibility for workers’ compensation get more complicated. Injuries may occur away from an office or job site and sometimes outside of work hours. Since the cases can be subject to interpretation and are often more challenging, it is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Who Counts as a Traveling Employee?
Just traveling to and from the office as part of your regular commute does not make you a traveling employee. A traveling employee is one whose job duties regularly take them away from their employer’s premises. Those involved in sales, consulting, and quality control across many facilities are regularly traveling to visit clients, customers, or different production facilities. This can also include truck drivers, delivery drivers, and others who are on the road as part of their job and at risk of injuries from car accidents.
As business travel slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels, longer-distance trips are becoming more common. For those on extended business trips, you are generally entitled to receive workers’ compensation for injuries that occur from the time you leave your house or office until you return. For example, this would include injuries sustained by falling down the stairs at the hotel or getting in a car accident on the way to a business meeting. You do not actually have to be working at the time of the accident to be covered. An exception could be if you were overly intoxicated and injured yourself or were engaging in a clearly dangerous activity.
While medical bills are the most common compensation, more serious injuries can include claims for disability payments, education and retraining costs, rehabilitation expenses, and compensation for a reduction of earning capacity. You can also receive compensation if a pre-existing condition was aggravated because of a work injury.
Contact a Wheaton Workers’ Compensation Attorney
For many cases of injuries sustained during work travel, workers’ compensation claims are subject to interpretation, and employers and insurance companies may be reluctant to provide compensation. If you have been injured at work, including during business travel, the DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyers at Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. can help prepare your claim and fight for your rights. To schedule your free consultation, call our office at 630-665-5678.