Workers’ Compensation When Traveling For Work
Frequent travel means your typical workday might not involve being physically present at the office. Whether the trip is for a business meeting, conference, or something else, this travel is a direct extension of your employment. As such, workers injured while away from the office can still rely on workers' compensation.
Employee vs. Personal Time
Again, travel for work is essentially part of work. So, when someone is injured, they have a right to file a workers' compensation claim. However, when the injury occurs will be a factor in determining how successful they will be.
Injuries en route to the destination or the return home, at a work-related event, or while in the hotel are typically considered work-related because you are at these locations due to your employment. On the other hand, an injury that occurs at lunch with an old friend who happens to live in the city you are visiting for work would not qualify because the lunch is considered personal time. An attorney can help you make this designation if you are unsure.
Immediate Medical Treatment
As soon as the injury is discovered, it is crucial to seek medical treatment. You may not want to wait until you return home. First and foremost, seeking care is critical to your well-being, but this step is also important for documenting the incident. A workers' compensation claim can only be filed with an official injury record.
It is also important to understand waiting to seek treatment can exacerbate certain injuries. If the employer finds out your voluntary delay in treatment made the injury worse, they may lower the value of your compensation by blaming you, at least partly, for your current status.
Standard Reporting Practices
In the same way that you have a legal right to seek workers' compensation while you are away because you are still an employee, you are also obligated to follow the same reporting practices you would if you were in the office. Generally, step one of the process involves notifying your direct supervisor or human resources representative to file a report.
The next step might involve issuing a statement. Most employers require that they be notified of an injury within a certain amount of time, such as 48 hours. Ensure you follow the time guidelines to avoid your claim being denied on a technicality.
Contact an attorney service in your area such as Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP to help you navigate this potentially complex issue and ensure you are protected.