If you suffer an injury while at work, it is more likely than not that your injuries will be covered by Florida’s worker’s compensation benefits. Worker’s comp, as it is often called, is a type of insurance that provides injured workers with wage replacement and various medical benefits to workers. In exchange for receiving these benefits, an employee relinquishes their right to sue their employer for any negligence.
The key phrase above is “injured at work;” however, in some cases what constitutes “work” may fall into a gray area.
For example, are you covered while at lunch? On a work-related picnic? Or while you are commuting to and from work? While working with a worker’s compensation lawyer will help you understand more about the law, the information here may help shed some light on these “gray” areas, as well.
Injuries During Lunch
In most cases, injuries that occur while on lunch aren’t covered by workers compensation benefits. This is because you are considered to be on your time during lunch. For example, if you fell and broke your wrist while walking into a local sandwich shop, you wouldn’t be covered. Even if you were picking up lunch for coworkers, you would not be covered.
However, the situation becomes a bit grayer if you were also picking lunch up for your boss. This is considered a “work duty” even if you aren’t being paid. In this case, you may be covered by workers compensation.
Injuries during Short Breaks
Any accident that occurs during a paid break is also considered compensable. A large factor related to this is if you are at work, while on a break that is required by the law, then the injuries that occur are covered.
Any type of short break that occurs off of the premises would also be compensable in many cases. However, this is something that has to be determined on a case by case basis.
Company or Work-Related Events
Businesses (of all sizes) often host various events during a year. This may include charity softball games, company picnics, and parties. This is another gray area, and the majority of injuries that occur at these events are covered by workers compensation laws.
Commute and Travel
If you suffer an injury while you are traveling to or from work, the injury won’t be covered by workers compensation. This is because a line has to be drawn somewhere. If employers were liable for injuries during this period, there would be no end in sight regarding what type of injuries they would have to cover.
When it comes to gray areas related to workers compensation, the list goes on and on. If you have more questions, it is best to consult with a workers compensation attorney. They can help you understand whether or not your injury is covered by workers compensation benefits.
To learn more about workers compensation laws, contact personal injury lawyer Scott J. Stenberg by calling 561-687-5660.