In most cases, you need to be on the clock in order to collect workers’ compensation for an injury. However, there are situations where an off-the-clock injury can qualify for a workers’ comp claim. An experienced lawyer can help you determine your legal options.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, we have helped countless people who suffered work-related injuries recover the compensation they need and deserve. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyers.
Workers’ Compensation Provides an Easy Alternative to Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides an easy path for employees to recover money to pay for medical expenses and lost wages after a work-related injury. At the same time, it protects employers from having to fight off personal injury lawsuits from injured workers.
In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, a workers’ comp claim may also result in disability benefits in the case of a severe injury.
Most Off-the-Clock Injuries Are Not Covered by Workers’ Comp
In most cases, injuries that an employee suffers while off the clock do not qualify for a workers’ comp claim. If you were injured during your commute or at an off-site, after-hours company event, you will likely be unable to recover money through workers’ compensation.
However, ineligibility for a workers’ comp claim does not mean you don’t have options for pursuing compensatory damages. Depending on the details surrounding your injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or another party to recover the money you need and deserve.
Situations That Qualify You to File a Claim When Not on the Clock
Under certain conditions, you are still entitled to file a workers’ comp claim even if you are not on the clock. Some of the scenarios in which you can file a claim include injuries that occur when:
- On the premises
- Running work-related errands
- Performing duties to benefit your employer
Work Premises Injuries
Workers’ comp is often triggered as soon as you set foot on your employer’s premises and continues until you leave. This can leave you with time each day when you are off the clock, but eligible to file a workers’ comp claim if injured. Parking lots and any other grounds owned by your employer can all apply.
Work Errand Injuries
If you leave the premises of your workplace, your eligibility to file a workers’ comp claim will likely end. However, if you are running an errand for your boss at the time, you could still qualify to file a workers’ comp claim.
Even if the errand is not strictly work-related, like picking up lunch for your boss while getting your own food during your lunch break, workers’ comp may still apply.
Employer Benefit-Related Injuries
Even if you are off the clock and off the premises, you may still be eligible to file a workers’ comp claim if you are acting toward the benefit of your employer. For example, if you are taking a client out to dinner after hours to discuss work, you will still likely be eligible to file a claim for any injuries you sustain.
While workers’ comp does not typically extend to your commute to and from work, it might apply to your trip to and from the restaurant in this situation.
Don’t Delay When Pursuing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you were hurt in a work-related accident, it is critical that you contact an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to help with your claim as soon as possible. The deadline for reporting your injury to your employer after an accident in South Carolina is 90 days. Meanwhile, you will have two years to file a workers comp claim.
Even if you feel you have plenty of time to take action, it is always best to get started on your case as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. The quicker your workers’ comp lawyer can get started on your case, the easier it will be for them to collect evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
Reach Out to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
The best way to figure out if you qualify to collect workers’ compensation after an off-the-clock injury is by consulting an experienced workers’ comp lawyer. The Thumbs Up Guys have helped countless injury victims pursue the money they need and deserve through both workers’ comp claims and personal injury lawsuits.
If you suffered damages, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.