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Can you request compensation if you’re injured on a lunch break?

| Oct 22, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

It’s rare, but some workers in California get injured while on their lunch break. Taking a lunch break typically involves “clocking out” so that the individual isn’t on company time. For this reason, people may wonder if lunch break accidents are covered by workers’ compensation. Can an individual file for compensation, or will they have to find another source of income to pay their medical bills?

Are workers covered by workers’ compensation if they’re injured on their lunch break?

Most of the time, workers are not eligible for workers’ compensation if they’re on their lunch break. Lunch breaks are typically seen as a “coming and going” period that doesn’t take place on company time. However, there are exceptions.

An individual might be eligible for compensation if they were completing work-related activities during their lunch break, even if they had “clocked out” during that time period. For example, if they were running job errands or gathering supplies, they might be eligible for compensation. They might also be eligible if their job planned on reimbursing them for travel expenses.

How can an individual find out if they’re eligible for workers’ compensation?

If they’re not sure if they qualify for workers’ comp benefits, an individual might wish to hire an attorney. An attorney may be able to help the worker figure out if they’re eligible for compensation after a workplace accident. If they are, the attorney may help them file a claim through the proper channels.

In some cases, an employer might refuse to pay workers’ compensation after their employee was injured. An attorney may help their client pursue the case in court to make sure they get the necessary payout. Additionally, their attorney might gather evidence to prove that the worker wasn’t at fault and that the employer created an unsafe environment.