Is an Injury That Happened at Lunch Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

lunch break for factory workersWisconsin’s workers’ compensation system provides benefits to employees who were injured on the job. However, what if you were not working when the injury occurred? What if you were at lunch or traveling? These are complex questions you should discuss with a qualified lawyer.

The Appleton workers’ compensation lawyers at Sigman Janssen have a proven record of recovering fair compensation for injured Wisconsin workers.

When the Injury May be Covered

Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system covers any injury that resulted from physical or mental harm from an accident or disease. The injury must have occurred when the employee was “performing service growing out of and incidental to … employment.”

This could include injuries that happen during your lunch break, if you were eating at your workplace, such as in the cafeteria/break room. If you were injured after leaving work to go out to lunch, the injury probably would not be covered by workers’ compensation.

You may also be covered by the workers’ compensation system if you were hurt at a company-sponsored event, like a party, golf tournament, picnic or training seminar.

According to the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Guide, injuries away from company premises are covered if the employee is still under the employer’s direction and control. This means you could be covered if you were injured in transit from your employer’s property to another place, if your employer was handling transportation.

If your job requires travel, injuries that occur while on company business may also be eligible for benefits. This could include injuries that occur while in airplanes, cabs or hotels. For example, you might get injured in a traffic accident and this would likely qualify for benefits.

However, if you were injured while traveling but it happened while you were doing something for a personal reason unrelated to work, it probably will not be covered. This could include personal errands or other activities of a strictly private nature that are unrelated to work.    

What About Injuries During Your Commute?

Generally, injuries during the commute to work are not covered by Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system. This includes injuries that occur while in company-sponsored vanpools or cars.

An exception to this is if the injury happens on company-owned property. For example, you may be eligible for benefits for an injury that happens in the company parking lot.

You may also be eligible for benefits if you were running a company errand during your commute, such as delivering something or picking up supplies.

Even if you are unsure if an injury is covered, there is no harm in reporting it to your employer as soon as possible. If you do have a viable claim, this helps to link the injury to the accident. If there is a gap between the date of the injury and the date you notified your employer, the insurer may try to use this as an excuse to deny your claim.

Contact Sigman Janssen Today for a Free Consultation

If you are unsure whether you may be eligible for benefits, you can discuss it with our experienced attorneys in a free, confidential and no-obligation consultation. We can answer your workers’ compensation questions and determine if you may have a viable claim and help you pursue benefits if you do.

We may also be able to help you if you have already filed a claim or it has been denied and you want to appeal.

Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means no upfront fee. We are not paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call us today at (877) 888-5201 or fill out a free online form