If you sustain an injury at work, you are entitled to financial restitution through your employer-funded workers’ compensation program – and this is pretty straightforward. But what happens if your injuries did not happen at work?
There is a possibility that you could still be covered under workers’ comp. To understand your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, it helps to start by understanding how the program works. Basically, the workers’ compensation program is meant to cover any injuries and illnesses that qualified employees suffer within the scope or course of their jobs. In other words, you must be both qualified to receive the benefits and your injuries or illness must have happened while advancing an employer-sanctioned task.
Are injuries while running errands for the boss covered?
Typically, when you’re on your own time, like during lunch or after work, any injuries you sustain wouldn’t be considered work-related. However, there are exceptions to this rule if you were running errands that benefit your employer (basically making your free time not really “free” at all). For example, if your boss asks you to pick up the office coffee order on your way back from grabbing your own lunch and you fall, that could be covered under workers’ comp.
How about injuries that happen while you are commuting to work?
If you are injured while traveling to or from work, the “Going and Coming” will take effect. According to the “Going and Coming” rule, you will not be eligible for benefits if you were hurt while traveling to or from a fixed workplace. There are exceptions, however, for people who travel for work, those on business trips and those running errands for their boss (as mentioned above).
Protecting your rights
Workers’ compensation laws regarding employees who are hurt away from work can be complicated. Learning more about Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws can help you protect your rights and interests while pursuing benefits following work-related injuries.