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Were You Injured While Traveling for Work?

Traveling workers who suffer injuries during the course of their work are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The Nevada Supreme Court has clarified their position on this issue and has confirmed that workers who are injured while traveling are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program. However, workers who are injured during non-work activities may not be covered, such as when the injury occurs when the individual is completing non-work related errands and other personal activities.

Distinct Departures 

One of the key clarifications provided by the Nevada Supreme Court addressed distinct departures on personal errands. Distinct departures include personal errands, engagement in recreational activities, and other actions that are beyond the scope of employment such as sightseeing, personal shopping, etc. The court has ruled that traveling employees should be covered during most periods and should be granted broader coverage for workers’ compensation than is allowed for non-traveling employees.

Coverage is allowed for injuries that occur during normal work-related activities, such as shopping, eating, traveling to/from hotels, etc. However, it is not covered if the individual is injured during purely personal pursuits, such as sightseeing or engaging in other recreational activities. This is because these activities have no connection to the individual’s scope of employment or the purposes of work-related travel. However, there may be exceptions, such as when these activities are connected to work, such as while entertaining clients.

Injuries that occur during travel that are covered could include injuries suffered in a plane crash or motor vehicle accident, slips and falls that occur while attending meetings with clients, cuts and burns incurred while performing work at a client’s construction site. It would also include broken bones suffered in a slip and fall accident at the “home office.” As long as the injury is connected to the employee’s scope of employment and does not involve activities beyond maintaining a reasonable level of comfort, then the injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.

Documenting Injuries During Travel

Individuals who are injured while traveling should not delay seeking treatment until they return home. If left untreated the injury can worsen and prolong the recovery period. Individuals injured on work trips should receive prompt care in the local hospital and follow-up care upon their return home. This creates a strong link between the injury and the overall impact it has on the individual’s ability to work. 

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