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Legal Options for Employees Injured While Traveling

By Matthew Golitko on July 11, 2016

A broken windshieldThe lawyers of Golitko & Daly have been helping work injury victims throughout the greater Indianapolis in complicated litigation and legal matters. In addition to lawsuits following serious or fatal construction accidents, our team has also assisted clients with workers' compensation matters and other types of complicated legal issues.

One legal matter that continually comes up involves injuries sustained while workers are traveling. Let's see why this kind of injury poses a number of unique difficulties and requires a special level of legal analysis.

Travel Injuries Can Be Serious

Injuries sustained while traveling for work can be quite severe. Whether traveling by plane, automobile, or train, serious collisions and crashes can lead to life-threatening injury and even fatalities. That's why these kinds of incidents need to be taken very seriously. With regard to construction, a number of workers help transport building materials and heavy equipment to and from a worksite, during which time an accident may occur during transit.

Of course, the issue of travel makes these kinds of cases a little more complicated. The injuries sustained are not on a worksite or at a workplace per se, which means a number of legal ambiguities may arise based on your company's travel policies and how they are worded.

Dealing with Difficult Issues

Stephanie Goldberg at Business Insurance published a piece in January titled “Responsibility for employees injured while traveling for work can be murky,” which is an apt description of the situation.

In one case cited in the piece (Barbara Pinkus v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.), an appellate court in Texas found that an employee who died in a car accident wasn't covered by his employer. The reason: he died in a car accident en route to meet his son for dinner. The court felt that this was a travel accident that was not related to business in any way even though the employee was out of town for a business trip.

By contrast, injury en route to the city or state where out-of-town business is being conducted is more likely to be covered by one's employer. The matters aren't always so cut and dry, of courrse, which is why Edward Canavan of Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. noted that these kinds of cases require a special level of critical analysis beyond a traditional injury case or accident case.

Your Employer's Travel Policy Matters

When discussing any of these travel-related cases, the language of your employer's travel policy matters a great deal. If any travel or transit falls outside of the language of an employer's travel policy, an injured employee is unlikely to be covered for these injuries as such travel falls outside of the furtherance of the company's regular business.

Yet these lines can be murky, which is why cases continue to come up with regard to employee travel and injuries sustained while out of town or in transit.

How an Attorney Can Help

Given the complexities of these kinds of cases, it's important that you seek out the counsel of a skilled attorney. A work injury lawyer will be able to parse the language of your company's travel policy and note similar cases that involve injuries while an employee was out of town or traveling. Having this kind of expertise on your side is imperative, especially if an injury has led to serious changes to your quality of life or has claimed the life of a loved one.

Speak with the Attorneys of Golitko & Daly

To learn more about your legal options when you are injured on the job, it's important that you contact our team of construction accident attorneys today. We at Golitko & Daly look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.

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