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What Happens If You Get Injured Outside of Work? [What To Expect?]

By  Dan McCrary | January 16, 2024

One question that concerns many employees is what happens if you get injured outside of work. Will you receive compensation, salary, and medical leave without losing your job, or these perks aren’t eligible for outside-of-work injuries

The reality is if you get injured outside of work, you won’t be eligible for compensation. But it’s important to clarify that “outside of work” doesn’t mean outside of the office. It refers to times when you’re not officially working or off the job.

In many situations, workers get compensation when they’re outside working for the company. To help you out, we’ll explain what worker injury compensation is in California and in what situations you can get compensation for injuries even if you’re outside of work. 

What’s Worker Injury Compensation In California?

As the name suggests, worker injury compensation is compensation for employees injured while working. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the office or outside the office, like on a client site location or attending an official event. 

What matters most is you’re not off the job. If an employee is off the job and at home or outside with friends and the injury happens, their health insurer will cover the cost of medical bills, not the employer. 

For instance, if you’re a truck driver and have an accident while on the job, you can get work injury compensation. The same applies if you’re working for a company-sponsored event and get injured. As the law 1904.5 (a) says: 

“You must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.”

When Is An Employee Not Eligible For Work-Related Injury Compensation?

Here’s the list of injuries and illnesses that are not eligible for work-related injury compensation. If your injuries or illnesses come in any of the categories below, you might not be able to get compensation. 

  • Use of Drugs During Work: If an employee is under the influence of drugs during work and gets injured, the employer is not obligated to provide compensation.
  • Engaging in Unlawful Activities: Injuries resulting from involvement in illegal activities while working are also not eligible for work-related injuries compensation.
  • Harming Other Employees: An employee injured while attempting to harm others in the office cannot seek work-related injury compensation.
  • Neglecting Safety Rules: In many jobs, employees must adhere to strict safety guidelines. If an employee neglects these guidelines and is injured on location, the employer isn’t bound to provide compensation.
  • Self-Harm: Employees attempting self-harm in the office or workplace will not receive work-related injuries compensation.
  • Off-the-Work Injuries: Any injury occurring off the job is not covered by worker insurance, emphasizing the limitation of coverage to work-related incidents.

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What Happens If Employees Are Injured Off The Job?

If an employee is injured off the job, the employer isn’t responsible for providing work-related injury compensation. In this scenario, the worker’s medical bills and losses incurred during the accident will be covered by their health insurer. 

The employee has to contact the health insurer for compensation. If the injury happened because someone else was careless, you could consider filing a personal injury claim or hit-and-run accident claim

What Happens If You Can’t Return To Work After An Injury In California?

If your injury occurred at work or during an official task, like attending an event or a meeting, you’ll receive compensation and benefits such as paid leave. In such cases, your employer can’t fire you because the injury happened while you were working.

However, if the injury occurred outside of work and you can’t return to your job for a long period, your employer can terminate your job contract. But if it’s not a long period, you can ask for medical leave or alternative duties that you can perform even if you’re injured. 

It’s also important to note that Labor Code section 230(c) prohibits employers from taking action against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or a crime causing physical or mental injury. 

In such situations, employees have the right to take time off from work without fear of losing their jobs. If an employer unlawfully terminates the job contract under these circumstances, the employee can pursue legal action in court.

Getting Injured Outside of Work - Final Words

The simple answer to what happens if you get injured outside of work is that if you're off-duty, it is not the employer's responsibility to provide compensation. However, if you're outside but working, you can seek work-related injury compensation.

Not to forget, reporting the injury within 30 days of the on-duty accident is crucial, and filing a claim for work injury compensation must be done within one year. Delays in these processes may affect your eligibility for compensation.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.