Can You Collect Workers Compensation Benefits if You Get Hurt on the Way to Work?
One of the more common questions our workers comp lawyers in Charlotte are asked is whether you can collect workers compensation benefits for injuries that happen on the way to work. Unless you work from home, there’s a very good chance that you have to drive to and from work. Or maybe you ride your bike to work. The point we’re making is that your employer has nothing to do with how you get to your job and back home again. This means that most claims for injuries sustained off the clock are going to be denied right off the bat. It would be very unusual for any company to be held liable for injuries to take place on personal time. However, there are a few exceptions that are worth talking about. Here, we will discuss these exceptions and explain how they work.
If you still have questions about your own workers compensation case, contact our office directly. We can set up a date and time for your free, initial consultation over the phone or you can do so through our website.
This is a Much More Common Question Than You May Think
Some people are surprised that we hear this question so often. Even when we speak with other attorneys in North Carolina, they’re shocked to know that this kind of case happens so often. Most of them would not know the answer to this question if they don’t practice workers compensation law in North Carolina. When we first meet with the client or talk to them on the phone, the first thing we ask is what kind of injury they suffered and how they suffered it. Once we hear that their injuries were sustained in a car accident on the way to or from work, we know that we’ll be dealing with a very complicated case.
Your Charlotte Injury Lawyer Will Tell You That the Answer to This Question is Almost Always No
Much to your chagrin and dismay, the answer to your question would be no. It is very difficult and very unusual for a person to receive workers compensation benefits for an accident that happened on the way to or from their job. Companies are not responsible for what happens in their workers’ personal lives. Unless you meet one of the exceptions that we will discuss below, your workers compensation claim will more than likely be denied. It will also be denied on appeal. And, unfortunately, most Charlotte injury lawyers would not want to take a case like this on because they are so difficult to win. The burden that your attorney would have to meet is almost insurmountable and the odds of being successful on your appeal are so low that your case simply has no value.
Of Course, There Are Always Exceptions to the Rules
As with most other things, there are exceptions to this rule. In North Carolina, there are six major exceptions when it comes to workers compensation claims involving injuries sustained outside of work. These exceptions include the following:
- If you are a traveling salesperson, any injuries sustained on the road or on the premises of a client or vendor would be covered under workers compensation.
- If you drive a company owned vehicle to and from work your workers compensation claim may be approved
- If you drive for a living, such as a truck driver or a cab driver, your claim may be covered
- If your accident takes place on company property, such as the parking lot, you have a better chance of your workers compensation claim being approved
- If you are the type of employee who has to drive to work sites, then there’s a good chance your claim will be approved
- If you happen to get injured while on a company trip, conference, or any other overnight work-related activity, your claim will likely be approved
The bottom line is that if you don’t fall into one of these categories, your workers compensation claim will more likely than not be denied.
These Cases Can Become Very Complicated Very Quickly
Because these cases can become complicated very quickly, we suggest that you reach out to a workers comp lawyer in Charlotte sooner rather than later. The odds of having your claim approved are low, but they will be even lower if you decide to handle things on your own.
You’re Better Off Hiring a Seasoned Workers Comp Lawyer in Charlotte
In certain in workers compensation cases, there’s honestly no reason to hire a worker’s comp lawyer in Charlotte. When your injuries are minor and your claim is small, there’s a good chance that your workers compensation claim will be approved. However, in other circumstances, it makes sense to hire a Charlotte injury lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace accident. One of these occasions happens to be when you’re injured on the way to or from work. Most of these claims are going to be denied initially. Your workers comp lawyer in Charlotte will most likely have to file an appeal on your behalf. Even then, your claim may still go unpaid.
While you do have options of pursuing the matter legally, you want to make sure that your workers compensation case is strong enough before you do that. There are very few exceptions when an employee can collect workers comp benefits for an accident that happened on the way to or from work. If you want to have the best possible chance of winning your case, you should consider hiring a Charlotte injury lawyer today. We do offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This means that you can meet with one of our attorneys and have them evaluate your case free of charge. If you do decide to retain our services, you will not pay us anything upfront and will not pay anything until we win or settle your case.