Most Ohioans understand that the state’s workers’ compensation benefit system will pay benefits for injuries suffered on the job. To be eligible for benefits, an injury must be “work-related.” Coverage for injuries sustained while traveling to and from a job or as part of an employee’s duties may be work-related and eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if certain factors are satisfied.
An employee who is required to drive during the workday as part of his or her employment, such as a traveling salesperson, will be covered for any injuries sustained during such travel. However, if an employee has a fixed place of employment, an office building or factory for example, and is injured while traveling to or from work, the system will not pay benefits because the injury is deemed not to be work-related.
If an employee is injured after reaching the place of employment and is in a parking lot maintained or controlled by the employer, the injury will be deemed to be work-related and will be covered. If, however, the parking lot is not maintained or controlled by the employer, such as a municipal parking ramp or lot, the injury is treated as not work-related and will not be covered.
Determining whether an injury is work related often requires the interpretation of regulations and court decisions. Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in handling workers compensation claims. Such a consultation can provide guidance about whether the injury is work-related and can also provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering benefits for medical expenses, lost wages and disability.
Source: Ohio State Bar Association, “Workers’ Compensation: When Is an Injury or Disease Covered?,” accessed on Dec. 3, 2016