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If I get Injured on a Break at Work, Can I Receive Compensation?

Colburn Law

Picture this: You’re on your well-deserved lunch break, finally able to enjoy a moment of respite from your demanding job. As you sit down, your phone buzzes with a message from your employer who asks you to run a quick errand during your break. Feeling obligated, you reluctantly agree and head out to complete the task. However, on your way, you encounter an unforeseen accident that leaves you injured and in pain.

As you navigate the aftermath of the incident, a pressing question arises: If you get injured on a break at work, can you receive compensation? The world of workers’ compensation and worksite injury can be intricate, and determining coverage for injuries sustained during breaks requires careful examination.


What Does Washington Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation is designed to provide financial support to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. However, to be covered, the injury must arise out of and be within the course of employment. This means that the injury must occur while the employee is performing job-related duties and that the cause of the accident is linked to the risks associated with the job.

When Does Workers’ Comp Cover an Injury That Happens During a Break? 

When an accident occurs while you are on a break, you may wonder if you are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. In these situations, your eligibility for a claim will depend on whether you were acting in your employer’s interests or your own at the time of the accident.

If you were engaged in an activity or errand at the employer’s request or in furtherance of the employer’s interests, you are likely eligible for a claim. On the other hand, if you left the job site for personal reasons or to run a personal errand and were injured, the injury is unlikely to be compensable. This is because it falls outside the scope of employment.

There are situations where both your employer and your interests are involved. For example, you may be asked to pick up supplies for the worksite while you are going to get lunch. In these cases, eligibility for compensation will depend on how much your employer’s interests played a role. It is important to work with a Washington workers’ compensation attorney to prove your right to benefits and establish your employer’s interest.  

Recovering Compensation for an Off-the-Clock Injury Can Be Difficult

Recovering compensation for an injury that occurs during a break can be challenging. The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) may initially deny these claims, arguing that the injury is not work-related. Given the complexity of these cases, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice to navigate the process effectively.

A Washington workers’ compensation attorney understands the laws and regulations regarding these claims. Your Seattle personal injury attorney can carefully evaluate the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine your eligibility. Then, he or she will work to build a compelling case in your favor and advocate for your right to compensation. If your claim is denied, your lawyer can help you file an appeal and represent you during the necessary proceedings.

After your workplace accident, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Then, schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case and take your first steps toward filing a claim.