While visions of steelworkers impaled by sharp metal or even office workers suffering from repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, generally fill our heads when we hear the term “on the job injury,” the fact is that not all workplace injuries happen in an actual workplace. If you suffer an injury and you’re on the clock, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation no matter if you’re physically in the workplace or not at the time of the accident or injury. Continue reading to find out what qualifies as an on the job injury in New York.
According to OSHA’s part 1904.5(a) of title “Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness,” an injury must be considered to be work-related “if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.” This means that a rather wide variety of duties, jobs, and tasks would fall under this umbrella and it’s important to know if your injury or illness is considered as on the job.
If you are engaged in work activities in the interest of your employer, injuries or illnesses that occur while you are on travel status are considered work-related. This includes conducting job tasks, travel to and from customer contacts, and entertaining or being entertained to transact, discuss, or promote business in the direction of your employer.
If you are are a delivery driver and you are injured in an accident while on the way to or from a customer’s location, it would be considered an on the job injury. It should be noted though that if you make a personal detour from a reasonably direct route of travel, i.e. made a personal side trip on the way to/from the client location, any illness or injury would not be considered on the job.
If you’re on a required trip and have the misfortune to be involved in an accident on the way to the airport or suffer an injury or illness in some other way related to the travel, it would be considered an on the job injury. However, if you stay in a hotel for your travel time and you’re injured, a claim can get a little more tricky and there’s a couple of things that you should know.
When you check into a hotel, motel, or another temporary residence, you are considered to have established a “home away from home” and when you check into that temporary residence, you are considered to have left the work environment. Once you begin work each day, you re-enter the work environment but if you are reporting to a fixed worksite each day, injuries or illnesses are not considered work-related if they occur while you are commuting between the temporary residence and your fixed worksite.
Of course, there are multiple other jobs and duties that may take you away from the physical office or job site while you’re still considered to be on-the-clock. Claims related to injuries while away often require a higher level of analysis than those that occur while in the office, warehouse or other company-owned sites, and you should ensure that you peruse the rest of Accident Help Zone to ensure that you are completely aware of your rights and New York’s Workers’ Compensation Laws, and contact an attorney as necessary.
First, before you even begin your work-related time away from the office, you should ensure that you review your employer’s established travel policies and determine if they define exactly what constitutes work-related activities and what does not. If there is anything that you are unclear on, get clarification before your scheduled travel or out of office activities.
As with any on the job injury, you should report the accident, injury or illness to your employer as soon as it is feasibly possible and of course immediately seek medical treatment. Be certain to obtain names and contact information for any witnesses, photograph any injuries, report the medical diagnosis to your employer, and you should make a written documented account of the incident as soon as you are able. When you visit a doctor, makes sure that he or she is authorized by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, this way you will make sure that all of you medical bills related to your work injuries will be covered by the insurance company.
If you do suffer a work-related injury while on-the-clock and away from the office, be sure to keep copies (originals if possible) of all paperwork generated from your injury just the same as you would save all your receipts to recover travel expenses. This will help in the claim approval process and help expedite your claim through the review.
The Accident Help Zone is New York’s #1 accident and injury resource center. No matter if you are injured away from the job site or while in the building, our experts specialize in the workers’ compensation laws of New York and we know exactly what it takes to ensure that you get what you deserve.
Browse our resources – we have the experts and we’ve done the research. We know exactly what you should know and what you should do from the moment that you are injured, until the day that you are able to return back to work. When it comes to your health and future, you deserve to know exactly what your rights are and what the laws of New York mean for you and your on-the-job injury or illness. Don’t take chances with your health or financial well-being and don’t leave your fate in the hands of others. Learn what you can do to better your situation starting today by using the resources here at Accident Help Zone.
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