Employee injuries happen in various circumstances both on and off the business’ property. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of gray area in the past about how workers compensation works with offsite injuries. If an employee is hurt on the business’ property, there are few common exclusions. Offsite injuries, however, become much more complicated.
When are Off Site Injuries Covered?
Off site injuries are complicated because there are other factors to consider. Most of the time, injuries that occur on a business’ property are in the course of work-related duties. However, so can many off sire injuries.
Offsite injuries may only be covered under workers compensation if the injury:
- Occurs during work-related activity
- While the worker is actively employed
- The injury is not caused by the employee being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In general, employees should be covered as long as they are in a place they should reasonably be and participating in work activities on behalf of the business. The same exclusions apply to offsite injuries as onsite injuries, however.
To receive workers compensation benefits, employees who are injured offsite cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, participating in illegal activities, horsing around, causing fights or inflicting intentional damage.
All injuries both on and offsite should be reported immediately along with witness testimony if possible. Failing to file a claim immediately can slow the process and even cause a claim to be denied, as an insurance provider may see the delay as proof that the injury is not severe enough for compensation.
However, claims can be denied if the employee is not where they are supposed to be. For example, say the employee is supposed to be working on a client’s house, but they are injured in a store while doing shopping not related to work. Or say they stop by a friend’s house and are injured there while on the clock. In these cases, an employee may not be covered under workers compensation since the injury occurred somewhere the employee was not supposed to be and while they were participating in work activities not related to their work.
Keep in mind that workers compensation laws may vary between states. If there is any dispute about a workers compensation claim or workplace injury, employers should speak with their insurance provider and employees have a right to legal representation.
Do Employees Have to Be Clocked in to Be Covered Under Workers Compensation?
Employees do not always have to be “on the clock” to receive workers compensation even if they are offsite. If an employee travels for a business trip and are injured in their hotel during their state, they can still be covered under workers compensation since it is a work-related trip, even though the injury itself did not occur while the employee was technically working.
What Can Workers Compensation Cover for Offsite Injuries?
If a workers compensation claim is filed and approved, the same type and amount of compensation should be available for offsite injuries as they are for onsite injuries. Benefits under workers compensation may include:
- Medical Payments: Medical payments is the most common payout when it comes to workers compensation. This covers medical bills the employee may face due to the workplace injury, such as emergency services, doctor’s visits, surgery, prescription medication and more.
- Wage Replacement: Wage replacement provides a portion of the employee’s income while the employee is unable to work due to a workplace injury.
- Disability Benefits: Disability benefits step in if the employee is rendered disabled after an injury. There are four categories of disability under workers compensation: temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. The category or severity of a disability can affect the benefits provided to the employee.
- Vocational Benefits: Vocational benefits help pay for training in another industry if the employee is unable to return to the original injury after a workplace injury.
- Death Benefits: In the rare and unfortunate case an employee passes away on the job or due to a work-related injury, death benefits may be paid to the employee’s surviving family, such as compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
Workers compensation claims must be filed immediately with proper information in order to be considered and potentially approved. If a claim is denied, the employee will not receive any compensation from their employer’s policy.
Also Read: When Does Workers Compensation Pay Out?