Illinois workers' compensation laws provide benefits for employees who are hurt in the course of their duties, regardless of where the injury occurs. Employees who are injured in car accidents or slip and falls while traveling for work are entitled to compensation for medical bills and income losses. However, it may be difficult to determine whether an employee’s travel is considered work-related.
When Is a Travel Injury Considered Work-Related?
The most commonly claimed travel injuries are those sustained on business trips, where the employer and employee were in agreement about the nature of the trip. It does not matter if the employee volunteered for the assignment or was chosen to represent the company by the employer. If the purpose of the journey was to further the employer’s business, the entire trip may be considered work-related. For example, if the employee is traveling to attend a conference and is injured in the hotel, he or she may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Depending on the circumstances, employees may also be covered while:
- Traveling between worksites. Employees may occasionally be asked to “run errands” or split their shifts across multiple job sites. Under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, an injury suffered while traveling for the benefit of an employer is considered compensable, including travel from one work location to another.
- Traveling to or from work. In most cases, employees are excluded from benefit eligibility during their regular daily commute. Under the “going and coming rule,” employees will not recover benefits for harm suffered while driving to or from work. However, if an employee was performing a special mission for the employer as part of the commute, then workers’ compensation covers the entire journey.
- Traveling on breaks. Most activities during a worker’s lunch break are not covered under workers’ compensation. However, some employees may still be eligible for benefits if they were performing work-related acts on their breaks, such as picking up lunch for the entire team.
If you were injured while traveling, we can help you determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact Tapella & Eberspacher today at (217) 394-5885 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation and learn about your next steps at no cost to you.