Whether you love or hate traveling for business, all workers have to be concerned about injuries on a business trip. Most workers know that workers’ compensation covers their day-to-day job duties. But how is workers’ compensation different when you’re traveling for business? Is it different at all? Our Miami workers’ compensation attorneys explain whether you can get benefits when you’re injured on a business trip.
I Was Injured on a Business Trip. Can I Get Workers’ Comp?
Yes, if you are injured on a business trip, you can get workers’ comp. Generally, traveling on a business trip is a part of the duties of work and therefore covered by workers’ comp. However, if you choose to engage in activities that are completely unrelated to work, these activities may not be covered by workers’ comp. However, for injuries that occur during travel or during business activities, yes, you can get workers’ comp when you are injured on a business trip.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Travel?
Yes, workers’ comp covers travel. The basic rule is that when you’re traveling for work, it’s considered part of your work and therefore covered like all other injuries at work. Things like time in the hotel and even eating meals can be part of workers’ compensation if you’re there because of your travels.
It’s possible to venture too far off into personal activities that are not work-related that workers’ compensation no longer covers those activities. However, usually, workers’ comp covers travel.
Hurt on a Business Trip
When you’re hurt on a business trip, there are several different factors to consider. As long as the injury occurs in the course of the travel, it should be covered by workers’ compensation. Things like time in the hotel, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and anything else that might happen during the trip should all be covered when you’re hurt on a business trip.
During a business trip, you might have some free time. You might use your free time to go to a club, see a tourist destination, or visit a friend in the same town. These are situations where workers’ compensation may not apply when you get hurt. The purpose of workers’ comp is to have an easy path to compensation when you get hurt while performing duties for your employer. For that reason, it covers activities that are both directly your job duties and activities that are related to the travel. It doesn’t include things that you choose to do on your own during non-working time.
The Legal Standard for Business and Personal Travel
Legally, the common strain in business trip workers’ compensation cases is whether the employee is engaged in predictable activities based on the nature of the business travel. Layovers and downtime can fall under the definition of business travel. The question is whether both the employer and the employee can reasonably anticipate the activity.
Some personal deviations are considered too insubstantial to fall outside workers’ compensation. For example, if you walk to the candy machine at the hotel during your business trip, you don’t lose workers’ compensation protections. The question is whether there is a distinct departure on a personal errand at the time of the accident.
Examples of Workers’ Compensation While on a Business Trip
Here are two examples of how workers’ compensation operates during business trips:
Example 1 – You work in Miami. There is an upcoming trip that you need to take to Tampa. During the trip, you schedule a dinner with local coworkers. While walking into the restaurant, you trip and fall on a chair. The chair was left in the way in the crowded restaurant. In this circumstance, your fall is covered by workers’ compensation.
Example 2 – You work in Miami. There is an upcoming trip that you need to take to Tampa. During the trip, you schedule dinner and a movie with a friend who lives in town. The friend picks you up. One the way to the movie on the other side of the city, you’re in a car accident. You sustain injuries in the car accident. In this circumstance, the accident isn’t covered by workers’ compensation. You weren’t doing anything related to work at the time of the accident, so it’s not covered by workers’ comp.
Business Trips and Third-Party Negligence Claims
Remember, even if your damages aren’t covered by workers’ compensation, you may still have options for compensation. All the rules of traditional negligence still apply even when you’re traveling for work. If you’re hurt because of the negligence of another party, you have every right to pursue a traditional path for financial compensation.
For example, in the case of the slip and fall at the restaurant, you may have a legal claim against the restaurant. In the case of the car accident, you may have a no-fault claim and a third-party claim for compensation. There may be many paths to compensation after a work injury. However, if workers’ compensation is available to you, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of it. Your attorney for workers’ compensation during business trips can help you understand all of your rights and options when an accident occurs during a business trip.
Attorneys for Injuries on Business Trips
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue justice from all avenues. First, you need to understand if your accident falls under the workers’ compensation system. An attorney can explain why or why not the case is a workers’ compensation case. If it’s a workers’ compensation case, there are important steps to take to file your case and make sure that you get complete compensation and fair treatment from the workers’ comp system.
That alone may not be the end of the story. There may also be a viable third-party claim to bring to receive additional payment. A third-party case operates much differently than a workers’ compensation case. An experienced attorney can help you understand all of your options.
Miami Attorneys for Workers’ Comp Cases
Our Miami workers’ comp attorneys are accepting new cases. If you have been injured on a business trip, the skilled legal team at Bernstein & Maryanoff can look at the facts surrounding your injury to give you a better idea of the best way to get the compensation you need to recover.
Call us today for your free consultation to learn about your options after an accident on a business trip. Your call is confidential. Call us today.