As an employee, traveling for work can be exciting and even enjoyable at times, depending on your destination and the nature of your work. However, it can also be risky, and injuries can happen while on the job. If you are injured traveling for work, you may wonder if you are entitled to workers compensation benefits.
In this article, we will explore the complexities of workers compensation coverage for work-related travel injuries and what steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation, from reporting your injury to filing a workers comp claim to hiring a workers compensation attorney in Atlanta.
Understanding the Scope of Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured while on the job. Workers compensation benefits cover medical expenses, lost wages, and even rehabilitation costs. However, not all injuries are covered.
Injuries Covered by Workers Compensation
Injuries covered by workers compensation may include those that occur while an employee is performing their job duties or even during breaks or lunchtime. Injuries that occur while commuting to and from work are generally not covered.
However, when an employee is injured while traveling for work, the lines can become blurred, and it may not always be clear if an injury is work-related or not.
Injured Traveling for Work: What Counts as a Work-Related Injury?
Traveling for work can include driving, flying, or even walking to different work locations. While traveling, employees can be exposed to a variety of hazards, such as car accidents, slip and falls, and even assault. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries, such as broken bones or head trauma.
Determining if an injury while traveling is work-related can be tricky. For example, if an employee is injured while attending a work conference, it is likely that the injury is work-related. However, if an employee is injured while sightseeing after a work conference, the injury may not be covered.
In general, injuries that occur while an employee is performing work-related duties, such as attending meetings or performing job-related tasks, are covered by workers’ compensation. Injuries that occur while an employee is engaging in personal activities, such as sightseeing or going out to eat, are generally not covered.
The “Going/Coming” Rule for Workers Compensation in Georgia
As a general rule in Georgia, injuries sustained by employees who are traveling to or from their place of work are not generally covered by workers compensation, regardless of the severity of the injury and its impact on the employee’s ability to perform their work-related tasks.
The consensus is that an employer cannot be held accountable for third-party interventions or state of transportation that may have caused the accident, so they should not be considered responsible for the employee’s injury.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
1. The Employee Was Traveling in a Vehicle Provided By the Employer
If you are driving to and from work in a company car, you could receive workers comp benefits.
2. The Employee Was Running an Errand for the Employer
If the worker is injured while doing errands for the employer, they will most likely qualify for workers compensation benefits.
3. The Employee Was Traveling for Work Duties or on a Business Trip
Some employees like delivery drivers and truck drivers travel as part of their work duties. An employee who was traveling for work at the time of an injury can receive workers comp benefits. If you get hurt while you are away from home on a business trip, you are probably eligible for workers comp.
4. The Employee Is On Call and Is Provided With Transportation by the Employer
If the worker is injured while on call and if they are using transportation provided by the employer, or are reimbursed the costs of transportation, they will most likely qualify for workers comp.
3. The Employee Was Traveling to or From Different Employment Premises
Any worker who sustains an injury while on premises owned or maintained by their employer, whether they are going to or coming from work, will be covered by workers compensation insurance.
Steps to Take if You Are Injured Traveling for Work
If you are injured while traveling for work, the first step you should take is to seek medical attention. Your health and safety are the top priority, and it is essential to get the care you need as soon as possible. Once you have received medical attention, you should report the injury to your employer.
Report the Injury Immediately
Reporting the injury to your employer as soon as possible is critical. Failure to report the injury within a certain timeframe can result in a loss of benefits. Reporting the injury also helps ensure that you receive the appropriate care and that your employer is aware of the situation.
File a Workers Comp Claim for Travel-Related Injuries
To file a workers compensation claim if you’ve been injured while traveling for work, you will need to follow the same process as you would for any other work-related injury. This includes reporting the injury to your employer, seeking medical attention, and filing a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
An experienced Atlanta workers compensation attorney can help guide you through this process and ensure that your rights are protected.
How to Prove Your Injury Was Work-Related
To receive workers compensation benefits for a travel-related injury, you must prove that the injury was work-related. This can be challenging, as the circumstances surrounding the injury may not always be clear.
To prove that your injury is work-related, you will need to provide documentation, such as witness statements, medical records, and any other relevant evidence.
How an Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Help
If you are injured while traveling for work, it is essential to understand your rights and the complexities of workers compensation coverage, as well as the different situations and exceptions that apply to workers comp for travel-related work injuries.
Our experienced Atlanta workers compensation lawyers can help guide you through the process, ensure that your rights are protected, and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.