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Workers’ compensation claims when you are hurt away from work

You were rushing to catch a flight for a convention your boss wanted you to attend, when you tripped near the terminal and twisted your foot. Not one to complain, you limped the entire week through the convention and had your stress fracture treated when you got home. Before you laugh the incident off as just being accident-prone, you might consider whether you can claim workers’ compensation benefits for the injury. The accident occurred away from your office, but workers’ compensation in Louisiana is meant to cover incidents that are related to your job.

If you had twisted your ankle while running across the street to meet a friend at your favorite café during your lunch break, workers’ compensation would not apply. When it comes to accidents or illnesses you sustain while you are off the clock or away from work, they must have been directly related to your job duties for you to receive workers’ comp benefits.

The following situations can provide some examples:

  • You choked on a bite of food during an important business lunch, and someone called an ambulance.
  • While running errands for your boss on the clock, you were in a car accident.
  • After work, the manager wanted you to drop off some paperwork at another branch office that was on your way home, and you slipped on some loose gravel and wrenched your back.
  • As you crossed your work building's parking lot, a car hit you.

What if you were in an accident while driving to or from work? Since this is considered your own time and not directly work-related, workers’ compensation would not apply – unless, as stated above, the accident occurred on property, such as a parking lot or sidewalk, that your employer owned or managed.

If you are concerned about whether you are eligible for benefits from an accident that occurred outside your normal working hours or away from your workplace, it may be wise to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.

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