If you get injured off the clock, you can’t claim workers comp, right?
Depending on the situation, you might still be eligible for workers comp benefits even if you get injured when you’re not working!
But what sort of situations qualify? What locations are covered? And which type of jobs are eligible for workers comp from the minute you walk out the door to the minute you get home?
We’re going to answer these questions right now!
My name is Rex Zachofsky and I became a New York workers compensation lawyer 17 years ago after getting injured on the job. If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you with your claim with New York Workers Compensation Benefits, please give me a call at 212-406-8989 to schedule a free consultation.
One of the most common situations when you can apply for workers' comp even if you're not on the clock is if you get injured while arriving at or leaving your workplace.
This is referred to safe as "ingress and egress" in workers' comp law, which simply means "the act of entering or exiting your employer's premises."
You are typically covered under workers' comp from the time you arrive on company property until the time you leave, including slip and falls, trips, vehicle accidents, assaults, or any other form of injury that might occur within a reasonable time and distance from your workplace.
However, there’s a catch. If your injury happens in a place where you’re subject to the same hazards as the general public, then it’s probably NOT considered work-related and workers comp will NOT cover it.
For example, we often get calls from mall or retail workers who suffered an injury in the general parking lot for customers.
Because it’s the general parking lot, they are subject to the same hazards as the general public, which unfortunately means they’re not covered by workers comp.
The exception would be if they had parked in an employee-designated parking lot instead of the general customer parking lot, then they would be covered as well.
You’re also covered by workers compensation if you have no “fixed place of employment.
If your work requires you to travel directly to multiple different locations for your job directly from home, then you are probably covered.
This is called “portal-to-portal” coverage, which means you’re covered from the second you walk out your front door in the morning to the second you come home.
Some examples of employees who are covered portal to portal include:
If you’re doing this type of work, your case for workers comp benefits becomes even stronger if you use a vehicle that was provided by your company.
That said, not all “portal-to-portal” situations are clear cut.
For example, if you work on your laptop while riding the train to work, then slip and fall at the train station, there’s no guarantee your case would be approved.
There is a gray area when it comes to traveling to and from work, as well as when, where, and at what point you are covered.
If you're not sure whether you can claim workers' comp for your injury, you should talk to a lawyer and tell them exactly what happened in your case. They can help you figure out if you're eligible or not.
So if you or a loved one in New York State were injured while off the clock and are unsure if you qualify for workers comp, give me a call at 212-406-8989 and find out. Our conversation is confidential, costs you nothing, and will potentially save you thousands in benefits.
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