Can you file a workers’ compensation claim if you got hurt while traveling for work? Sometimes employees in Ohio are required by their jobs to do work in other nearby states. For example, a worker might drive a truck for a particular company, and occasionally that company might require the worker to make a delivery out of state in Pennsylvania. Or, for example, an employee might work for a large corporation in Cleveland doing financial work, and that corporation might send the employee to one of the corporation’s other offices in Kentucky to perform temporary services.
If an employee gets hurt on the job while working temporarily in another state, can that employee file for Ohio workers’ compensation benefits? In most cases, the answer is yes, as a result of extraterritorial coverage. However, in some situations, extraterritorial coverage will be insufficient to cover the employee. Depending upon the employer’s policy, the employee may also be eligible to obtain compensation through another state's coverage policy that is optional for employers.
What is Extraterritorial Coverage?
What is extraterritorial coverage and how does it work? According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), whenever an employee leaves the state of Ohio for job-related purposes, there is a risk that the employee will sustain a job-related injury. Indeed, “each time an employee leaves Ohio, even for a short period, there is a risk that a work-related injury could occur,” which can allow the injured employee to file a workers’ compensation claim in another state. Since workers’ compensation is governed by state law, the law of the injury state would apply. Employers want to avoid an employee filing a workers’ compensation claim in another state because, in many cases, the employer will not be insured in that state. Accordingly, “the Ohio employer could be subject to fines and other penalties, including the actual cost of the claim.”
To avoid an employee filing a claim in another state and opening up the employer to significant costs, the employer can purchase extraterritorial coverage. As the BWC explains, extraterritorial coverage extends Ohio law into another state for workplace injuries that happen outside the state of Ohio. It is important to know that extraterritorial coverage is not designed to cover employees who routinely perform work for an Ohio employer outside the state of Ohio. Rather, extraterritorial coverage is designed to cover employees who are only working temporarily outside the state of Ohio.
An “Other States Coverage” Policy can Also Provide Employees With Benefits
In some cases, as we mentioned above, extraterritorial coverage is insufficient to protect certain workers. In particular, employees who regularly work outside the state of Ohio for an Ohio employer may not be covered. In such a case, the employer may have an ‘Other States Coverage’ policy that allows the injured employee to file an Ohio workers’ compensation claim.
In short, employees should know this: If an employee sustains an injury while working temporarily outside of Ohio, she or he may still file an Ohio workers’ compensation claim (and can be covered through extraterritorial coverage or an Other States Coverage policy) as long as the injury arose out of his or her required work. If the employer does not have proper coverage and required an employee to work out of state temporarily, the employee may be able to file a claim under the laws of the state where the injury occurred.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Cleveland
If you got hurt outside Ohio while you were working for your Cleveland employer and need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, an experienced Cleveland workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you. Contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg, Co., LPA to learn more.