Visitor Question

Do I qualify for workers compensation if I was in a car wreck while traveling home during my break?

Submitted By: Tracie (Kansas City, MO)

I left my job while I was still on the clock and went home for my fifteen minute break. During that break while traveling I was in a bad car wreck. Do I qualify for workers comp benefits for my injuries from this accident?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Tracie,

It depends on several factors…

If you were driving a company vehicle “on the clock” and:

A. Your employer either sent you home for a business reason; or

B. Permitted you to go home for a personal reason; or

C. Was otherwise aware you were going home and considered your travels home to be acceptable “work-like” behavior…

Then you may have a legitimate workers compensation claim.

In the alternative, if you weren’t driving a company vehicle on the clock and:

A. Weren’t permitted by your employer to stop at home for 15 minutes while on the clock driving the company vehicle; or

B. Were driving your own car and your employer wasn’t aware you were going to stop at home, and if he did, wouldn’t have authorized it…

Then you may not have a workers compensation claim at all.

If you don’t have a workers compensation claim and you don’t live in a no-fault state, you can pursue the at-fault driver to pay for your damages. If you live in a no-fault state you can file a personal injury claim against your own insurance company. If you don’t have insurance you may be out of luck.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 6, 2012

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