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What Happens if I Get Hurt at Work While Off the Clock?

Posted in workers compensation on August 23, 2021

Workplace injuries can lead to significant setbacks for those involved. In general, those who sustain an on-the-job injury can expect to recover compensation for their medical bills and a portion of their lost income. However, if a person is injured while they are off the clock, there is a good chance they will not be able to recover compensation for their losses. Here, we want to discuss off-the-clock injuries as well as any circumstances where a person would receive compensation if they sustain an injury when not clocked in.

What Happens if You are Injured but not Clocked In?

We want to be clear that the Arizona workers’ compensation system is designed to cover injuries that occur when a person is performing job-related duties at the direction of their supervisor or employer. When an injury occurs in these circumstances, a person will be able to recover 100% of their medical treatment, a large portion of their lost income, and permanent disability awards or vocational assistance, if needed.

In general, workers’ compensation will not cover any injuries that occur when a person is on their way to work. This type of insurance will kick in when the employee arrives at the workplace and will end when they leave the workplace at the end of the workday.

Additionally, any break that is not “on the clock” will not typically be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This includes lunch breaks or any other regular break that the employee may take. 

Will There be Exceptions to These Rules?

There may be various exceptions to these workers’ compensation off-the-clock injury rules. As we mentioned above, workers’ compensation insurance typically applies when a person is performing job-related duties at the direction of a supervisor or their employer. Usually, this means the person is working their regular shift, but that is not always how job-related duties are carried out.

For example, suppose a person is on the way to work, but their supervisor asks them to go by the store or do something else for them or the company on their way to the workplace. Now that the worker is no longer just going about their regular commute, if an injury occurs during this commute time frame, it will likely be covered under workers’ compensation. The employee was performing job-related duties.

Additionally, if an employee is asked to travel for work, the time they spend traveling at the direction of their employer is going to be considered a job-related task, and the employee will be covered through workers’ compensation if they sustain an injury.

If you are on a break, whether paid or unpaid and are still on the employer’s property, you will typically be covered by workers’ compensation if you sustain an injury. In most cases, workers’ compensation starts when a person sets foot on their employer’s premises. If you sustain a slip and fall injury on the premises during your break, you will still likely be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries through workers’ comp. 

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury at work but are having trouble securing the compensation you are entitled to, you need to speak to a skilled Phoenix workplace injury lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible. A Phoenix work injury attorney will be able to examine every aspect of your case, gather the evidence needed to prove what happened, and negotiate with aggressive insurance carriers to recover the compensation you are entitled to.