Injuries — they happen when you least expect them. Otherwise, you probably would have avoided them. When injuries happen during the time you take to get to work, or while you're on lunch, there are a lot of questions about the whether or not your company is legally obligated to cover them.

Although the following list won't give you a complete breakdown, and it's always best to consult an accident and personal injury attorney for further information, it might be enough to get you started.


Traveling is a part of work, whether it means getting to and from, or for it. And the key words in that phrase are to, from, and for. In most cases, if you're injured on your way to or from a typical place of employment, workers compensation doesn't cover your injuries. However, if you're traveling for work, or as part of work, workers compensation usually covers those injuries.


Just as traveling to and from work isn't covered, traveling to and from lunch isn't usually covered either. So, if you slip on a wet floor at the local restaurant or burn your hand with coffee while in your car, you're most likely out of luck.

However, if you hurt yourself while you're getting lunch for your boss (and hopefully yourself, too), that might be covered because it's considered a job-related injury.

These rules also apply for employees that work non-traditional hours, such as second- and third-shifts.

Goofing Off and Misconduct

There are lots of people that like to have fun while at work, maybe by throwing paper airplanes from cubicle to cubicle or maybe playing practical jokes. There are also people who purposefully disobey the general safety rules.

So, if someone's hurt during one of these escapades, who coughs up the money for the bill? Well, it depends on whether the employer knew this was happening or not.

If an employee knowingly breaks a workplace safety rule and had been spoken to before about not doing it, the employee will need to cover the costs. However, if there is a rule about no throwing office supplies, but the employer has willingly let airplanes go, workers compensation will most likely cover that sore eye.

Prior Injuries/Conditions

If you sustained an injury, such as a broken ankle or herniated disc, at another workplace, switched work places, and never filed a claim, it's most likely not covered.

However, if you hurt yourself at another workplace, filed claims, or at least reported, and then aggravated it at your new place of employment, it's almost always covered by workers compensation.

The same holds true for delayed injuries from repetitious work or long-term exposure to chemicals.

Talk to places like Franco Law Firm for more information.