Virginia employees who suffer an injury off company property may question whether or not they have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. In many cases, these employees will be able to recoup workers’ compensation benefits, but it all depends on what context the injury happened under.
If, for example, the person was injured off company property while performing his or her job duties, then the employee will likely be able to seek compensation. Technically speaking, the injury needs to have happened within the course and scope of the individual’s employment and as a result of his or her employment in order to qualify for benefits. In this sense, if the injury happened off site, it does not matter where it happened.
For instance, a traveling salesperson who suffers an injury in his or her hotel room, where the person must stay for business purposes, will be permitted to seek workers’ compensation benefits. The reason is because the employee was staying at the hotel as a result of his or her employment.
In another example, if an employee needs to complete an errand that requires leaving the office — like going to pick up the mail — then the employee could seek compensation for injuries suffered while completing that errand. Meanwhile, if the employee left the office to complete a business errand, but deviated from the errand for non-business reasons, then it would require a more detailed legal analysis to determine if the injury is compensable.
Questions about workers’ compensation benefits can be difficult to answer without special legal training. For this reason, injured Virginia workers may want to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to evaluate the merits of their potential claims.
Source: FindLaw, “Workers’ Comp FAQ,” accessed Oct. 30, 2015