Most workers are aware that injuries sustained while at work may be covered under workers compensation. However, the regular course of doing business for many workers involves traveling. The question then arises whether a person can be considered to be working when her or she is not at a traditional work site. Whether you fly across the globe for a business meeting, or drive across town to deliver documents or products to a client, you are likely to be considered to be performing a function of your job duties. Therefore, if you are injured while traveling for work, you may be able to receive compensation for medical care, costs and lost wages as a result of your injury.
Workers compensation often provides coverage for an employee who is injured while traveling as a part of doing business. If travel is a part of your job duties as a regular course of doing business, and injury occurs during an event that is considered “reasonably foreseeable,” then you may be able to seek compensation for injuries sustained at this time. The coverage for some activities, however, can be hard to determine. Some covered events seem obvious -- for instance, a car accident injury that occurs while driving from your main office to a client’s site for a sales meeting. However, it may surprise an employee to learn that even slipping and injuring your leg while walking from your hotel to dinner when out-of-town for business may be covered. This is because an employer can reasonably foresee that employees traveling away from their home must seek out food. Similarly, coverage has even been extended on occasion to employees who are injured while enjoying a leisure activity like hiking or biking while on a business trip. Because an employee is unlikely to simply sit in his or her hotel room when not specifically at a business function, it can be reasonably expected that he or she will pursue entertainment while on a trip.
However, while driving from home to work as part of your regular commute may be necessary, usually this is not considered a qualified work activity. In addition, if you were injured while away at lunch during a work day, this injury is unlikely to be covered unless your attendance was a necessary part of your job such as a client lunch or other mandatory work event. A traveling worker who becomes intoxicated and subsequently injures him or herself in a fall, additionally, may not be covered as intoxication is not a reasonably foreseeable event. In short, while coverage exists for traveling employees, determining which activities are considered a part of your work function can be confusing. Because your eligibility for coverage can be complicated, consider hiring a Chicago workers compensation lawyer who will make certain you receive any compensation you are rightfully owed.
About the Author: Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyer that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.