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Can I get workers compensation if I am hurt while not at work?

New York employees may have questions about what type of injury accidents qualify for workers' compensation, since not all events are covered. Whether or not you will receive benefits will depend on the circumstances of the case. For example, if you suffer a fall at home and break your arm while off the clock, then you would not qualify. The accident must occur under the scope of your employment. But what does this mean exactly, and what if you are injured while performing work duties, but not at your place of employment?

This means that you must be "on the clock." If you are commuting to work and get into a car crash, you likely will not be covered under workers' compensation. However, if you are running errands for a manager and are rear-ended along the way, then you may qualify for benefits. However, if you stop for lunch along the way and are hit while in a McDonald's parking lot, then this will change your eligibility.

Along the same lines, a salesman injured in a hotel while conducting business will likely receive workers' compensation benefits. The same goes for recreational events sponsored by the company. So while the employee does not have to be on the company premises, he or she must be performing work-related duties at the time of the work accident in order to receive benefits.

Workers' compensation claims are not always clear-cut. Each case is different and while it is a no-fault system, there are some reasons, such as intoxication or intentional injury, that would disqualify a claimant.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation FAQ," accessed Oct. 24, 2014

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