Many businesses require their employees to travel. Sometimes this travel is local, or at least entirely within Ohio. Other times it will be throughout a region, like the Midwest, or across the country. International business may require employees to fly overseas on a regular basis. These journeys create risks for workers they might not otherwise face at work. The employees must traverse places the employer has no control over and cannot guarantee are safe. Workers’ risks of being in car, plane, or other transportation accidents increases. Their risk of being on unsafe premises rises. When travel-related hazards lead to accidents and injuries, traveling employees are faced with the question of whether they can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Some travel-related injuries will be covered by the Ohio workers’ compensation system. However, sometimes they are not. Simply because a person is out of town for work does not mean that an injury sustained on the trip is work-related. Even when it is, the injured worker may need experienced legal help to prove their injuries are work-related to their employer and insurer. This is where our certified workers’ comp lawyers Adrienne Hines and Victor Kademenos at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA can help. We have decades of collective experience in pursuing workers’ comp for injured employees.
Traveling Employees Are at Risk for Injury
Work-related travel puts workers at risk for accidents and injuries, including:
- Vehicle collisions in rental vehicles, buses, taxis, or ridesharing services
- Airplane accidents
- Slip and falls or other accidents within airports
- Public transportation accidents
- Injuries sustained in hotels or other rental properties
- Injuries sustained at out-of-state work sites or offices
- Injuries that occur at on a client or customer’s premises
Travel Injuries Raise Workers’ Compensation Questions
The Ohio workers’ compensation system covers injuries that occur in the court of employment or arise out of the employment. When an injury happens in the course of employment, this refers to a work-related accident on the business’s premises or at a work site. There is usually little doubt that injuries sustained during these accidents are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, injuries can also arise out of a person’s employment. This means the injury did not necessarily occur during traditional work hours or on the business’s premises, but was related to the risks associated with the position.
When an employee’s injury occurs while they are traveling for work, there are questions regarding whether the injury occurred in the course of or arising out of the employment. If an accident occurred at a business’s office in another city or while the employee was performing a work duty abroad, then a workers’ compensation claim has a great deal of support. However, injuries that occur while an employee is traveling for work yet not performing their job duties at the time of the accident are another story.
Our certified workers’ compensation attorneys Adrienne Hines and Victor Kademenos can help you prove that your injuries are related to your work. We will help you gather evidence and submit a claim. Contact Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA today at (419) 625-7770.
Are Travel-Related Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Whether or not travel-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation benefits depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Ohio has a workers’ compensation law known as the “coming and going rule.” When workers are hurt while commuting to or from their fixed work location, their injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation. In-town or local travel for work is a necessity and employers are not responsible for a workers’ injuries that occurred on their own time, outside of the job.
However, there are differences when individuals travel further away for work or are consistently required to travel. When people are required to travel for their jobs, then workers’ compensation benefits may cover injuries sustained during this necessary travel. Whether an employee injured in a vehicle accident on the way to the airport or hurt at their hotel is covered by workers’ compensation depends on whether the employer or insurer believes the injuries were sustained while the individual performed an act necessary for their job or was participating in a personal activity. The individual hurt while getting to the airport for their morning flight, which was booked and paid for by their employer, has a strong case for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. However, the employee who was hurt after falling in the hotel bar while catching up with old friends has a weaker case for benefits.
Proving an Injury Sustained While Traveling Was Work-Related
Traveling employee workers’ comp cases often come down to proving that the injured worker was acting on behalf of the employer and not themselves at the time of the accident. To determine this, an injured worker and their attorney can seek to provide evidence that:
- The time, place, and circumstances of the injury demonstrate it happened in the course of or arose from employment
- The proximity of the place of the accident to the place of employment
- There was a causal connection between the injury and employment
- The amount of control the employer had over the place of the accident
- The benefit the employer obtained by the employee’s presence where the accident took place
Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA can help you prove that you were acting for your employer when you sustained injuries. Contact our certified workers’ compensation attorneys Adrienne Hines and Victor Kademenos today at (419) 625-7770 for more information.
Third-Party Liability for Travel-Related Injuries
Whether or not an injured employee can receive workers’ compensation benefits, they may have a right to bring a third-party personal injury claim against another individual or business responsible for their injuries. For instance, if an employee was hurt after slipping on greasy tile at their hotel, they may have a premises liability claim against the hotel owners or management. It all depends on whether a party independent of the employer was negligent, reckless, or intentional harmful toward the employee, causing their injuries.
An Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help
There are many gray areas in workers’ compensation coverage for traveling employees. When individuals are hurt during work-related travel, they should contact the experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers of Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA right away. While an employer or insurer may seek to deny a workers’ compensation claim, a skilled and resourceful lawyer may be able to help an injured worker obtain benefits.
Many of our attorneys are certified by the Ohio Bar Association in workers’ compensation law, which means we have obtained special training to represent injured workers. We not only understand the ins and outs of Ohio workers’ comp law, we also have experience handling the complexities of injuries sustained while traveling.