Visitor Question

Can I file a workers’ comp claim if I was injured at a conference?

Submitted By: B (Theodore, AL)

I was traveling for 3 days to Tupelo, MS from South MS to attend a work conference. On Tuesday 4/5/17, after the conference, the convention hosted an after hours social for a couple of hours then everyone went out to eat. I was riding with another attendee of the conference. I got out at my hotel and missed the runner while getting out, and severely broke my left ankle in 2 places.

I did not apply for WC at first, since I thought everything was going to be okay. I reached out the HR Benefits person with my employer to file a Workers’ Comp claim. But I was told that I cannot file a claim because it was after work hours. If I am traveling with work, aren’t I considered on the clock the entire I am out of town? Please provide any information you can. Thanks.

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 B,

The State of Alabama’s Workers Compensation laws are applied and regulated by the Alabama Department of Labor’s Worker’s Comp Division. Alabama’s Workers’ Comp laws cover only work-related injuries, illnesses, or diseases. However, the injuries, illnesses, or diseases do not necessarily have to have be sustained on the actual workplace premises. As long as they are job related, they will be covered.

For example, workers will be covered if they are injured while traveling on business, running a work-related errand, or attending a business-related social function. However, injuries occurring before or after work, or at work-related functions are not covered, even when the workers is “out-of-town” on business.

Coverage may also be denied under circumstances involving:

  • injuries caused by intoxication or drugs
  • self-inflicted injuries
  • injuries from a fight started by the employee
  • injuries resulting from horseplay or violation of company policy
  • felony-related injuries
  • injuries an employee suffers off the job
  • injuries claimed after an employee is terminated or laid off, or
  • injuries to an independent contractor

From the facts you present, it appears your injury occurred after a work-related function, as you were getting out of a car to walk into the hotel. As a result, worker’s compensation coverage was likely correctly denied. Even so, it would be in your best interests to speak with a Worker’s comp attorney in your state.

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: October 19, 2017

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