What should you do if you get injured on a work-related trip? Here’s everything you need to know if you sustained an injury while traveling for work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, there were over 2 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers.
If you’ve sustained an injury while at work, the next steps are pretty cut-and-dry, you file a workers’ comp claim with your employer and subsequently receive approved medical care.
But what happens if you’re injured while traveling for work—and you weren’t at your workplace? Do the same rules apply as if you were at work? Will you still receive the financial and medical attention you need?
The answer isn’t so black and white, but we can break down the grey areas and help give you an idea of what to expect. We also explain what you should do next to ensure the proper documentation.
Traveling to Work vs. Traveling for Work
To be clear, the average commute to and from work is not covered by workers’ compensation.
Here, we’re talking about traveling for work rather than the everyday transportation when coming and going.
This includes travel by bus, car, plane, etc. to another job site, a foreign hotel, conference hall, or office, and any time you’re performing work duties somewhere other than your regular place of employment. Under this umbrella can also include situations like, for example, if you were injured while taking clients out for dinner while out of town.
However, if you sustained an injury while doing something outside of your regular working requirements—such as going to dinner with clients out of will rather than a direction from your supervisor—it’s likely your injury will not be covered by your employer.
Sustained an Injury? Take These Steps
If you’ve been injured while working, whether during regular business or if you were traveling, you’ll need to take these steps, at the minimum:
- Receive any medical treatment necessary at the time being
- Report the injury to your supervisor, and do so in writing, so there’s documentation
- Record any photos or write down any details about your injury
- File a claim immediately to ensure you’re within the statute of limitations
- Receive ongoing medical treatment if needed, being sure to do your research about providers. Check out a healthcare provider’s website (i.e., https://www.metrohealthnyc.com/) for hours, testimonials, coverage, and more
- Wait for your claim to resolve and go from there
Since workers’ compensation is a requirement for most businesses, it’s likely that your employer already has coverage. They can direct you to see the doctors under the provider network.
If your place of employment does not have workers’ compensation, then you’ll likely need the assistance of a workers’ comp attorney. Contact one immediately and provide them with all the documentation you made at the time of sustaining the injury.
Know Your Rights
If you sustained an injury while doing your job, you must know your rights as an employee. If your case falls under the umbrella of a workplace injury, you deserve compensation.
Take notes, take photos, and be proactive in reporting your injury to your supervisor or an attorney.
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