Work-Related Travel Accidents
Travel Accidents and Workers Compensation
Employees face the same travel hazards as the general public. Thus, many workers are injured every day while traveling in vehicles or other modes of transportation. Some occupations involve extensive travel as a main component of the job, which further increases the likelihood of injury due to a work-related accident.
Workers compensation applies if the injury occurs while performing assigned work activities. But when it comes to travel accidents, sometimes this is easy to determine and sometimes it is not so easy.
When travel is part of an employee's regular job
When travel is part of an employee's regular job, it is generally easier to determine the work-relatedness of an injury should an accident occur. For example, truck drivers, delivery personnel and traveling salespeople log a lot of travel hours, as do taxi and bus drivers, tour guides, and certain construction crews and repair technicians. Professions such as these generally make it easier to determine if workers compensation applies to their injuries.
Employees who travel less frequently
However, for employees who travel less frequently or only under certain circumstances, it may take some investigation to determine if an injury sustained in a travel accident qualifies for workers compensation benefits. For example, if a warehouse manager is injured in an accident while driving to an offsite meeting, does the injury qualify for workers compensation?
Or, if a receptionist is injured in an accident while stopping to purchase office supplies during her lunch break, does this qualify for workers compensation? Also, does it matter whether or not the worker was at fault for the accident? In situations like these, your employer's opinion may not always agree with your own assessment. Your employer may even discourage you from making a claim, even when you may be entitled to benefits.
Travel Accidents Are Not Always Clear Cut
If you are injured in a travel accident during a work-related assignment, it is advisable to immediately seek the advice of a workers compensation attorney. An attorney can help determine your eligibility for workers compensation benefits after learning the details of your accident and subsequent injury. If your eligibility is confirmed, an attorney can then provide you with advice on the best way to proceed. When it comes to workers compensation, travel accidents are not always clear cut...so get in touch with us if you need help deciphering the various elements of your claim.