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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael E. Trauscht with The Law Office Of Michael Trauscht.
Surprisingly, yes you can—but it depends on the situation. Arizona law actually does state specifics in the case of workers’ compensation claims going and coming from work on a regular basis. Generally speaking, if you are not on the premises of employment, and you get injured, you are not covered.
Rightly so, as justification suggests that you wouldn’t have to drive anywhere if you weren’t required to perform your job duties—so getting injured while driving to work should be covered, one would think. That’s why there are these specific exceptions:
You Are Covered While Driving on the Premises – Say, for instance, you just entered the parking lot, and you’re looking for a spot. In the event that you’re rear-ended, for instance, and it causes whiplash, that kind of incident and injury in the parking lot of your place of employment would constitute a workers’ compensation claim in Arizona. However, if you are found to be using an unsafe route on the premises, your claim may be disqualified.
You Are Covered While Traveling Between Locations – This applies to transportation to and from specific buildings owned by the company, which often happens from time to time. A lot of companies own several properties, so if you’re generally required to commute between two different locations, and you get injured in an auto accident, for instance, Arizona law workers’ compensation covers you.
You Are Covered While Running Major Errands for the Company – Only if the errand itself played a role in your injury will Arizona workers’ compensation law cover you. An example of that would be the particular location involved in the errand, versus an accident happening randomly on the highway or street. As you should always do, consult a qualified workers’ compensation attorney in Arizona for more answers.
You Are Covered While Operating a Work Vehicle – If you’re in an accident either going to or coming from work in a vehicle owned by the company, the company would then be responsible to process a claim for workers’ compensation.
You Are Covered If You’re Employer Pays You to Travel – Reimbursement for miles then applies to workers’ compensation law in this case as well. You’re being paid to get to work. You are therefore completing paid tasks (in this case, driving to and from work).
You Are Also Covered If Travel Time Benefits the Employer – This would involve such expenses as hotel stay, accommodations and flight costs. If the employer sees a tremendous benefit to your travel as a valued employee, and you are injured during that time, workers’ compensation law mandates that you’re covered for the injury.
You’re Even Covered If Your Business Trip Also Involves Personal Vacation Time – Specifically, if you’re doing personal errands while out and about, and you’re injured, you are covered in Arizona as long as the business portion of your outing would still have proceeded in the event that your personal errands were hypothetically canceled. Most business trips fit this scenario.
Lastly, You Are Covered Even on Personal Trips for This Reason – If you actually do some business on a trip that you weren’t intending on doing, you may be entitled to coverage if you’re injured. The opposite, however, may not apply unless the injury occurred during the moment you resumed the business portion of your trip after deviating.
Even more is applied to issues involving acts of nature, such as storms and other disasters, random accidents that only would’ve happened because of where the driver was and had to be on account of work duties, and unexplained deaths and falls while on the work premises. It’s important to always review the facts. Seek an attorney for a free, confidential consultation if injured and require help.
Written by AskTheLawyers on behalf of Michael Trauscht.