The logic that goes into determining whether a workers' compensation claim will end in payment to an employee is a little more complex than simply assessing whether someone was hurt at work. Almost any injury or illness suffered in the course of a positive action you were undertaking on behalf of an employer merits review. If your case sounds a bit like one of these five scenarios, you might want to consult with a workers' compensation attorney.

Getting the Boss Lunch

You generally won't be able to successfully pursue compensation for getting hurt at the diner two blocks away from your job site, but you might if your manager asked you to pick up their lunch along the way. The same goes for an array of work-related errands. Even if you weren't punched in on the clock, you may be entitled to compensation if your employer or one of its authorized agents asked you to do something during that time.

Company Picnics

Many businesses hold an array of functions that aren't strictly defined as work, such as baseball games, holiday parties, and picnics. These are generally considered events where any injuries you sustain will be considered compensable. A few states have carved out exceptions to protect employers that don't strictly demand attendance, but the validity of those laws is still being disputed.

Aggravated Non-Work Injuries

If repetitive physical stresses from a particular task are likely to aggravate existing injuries, there's a good chance an employee may be able to get compensation. It's generally considered the responsibility of the employer to conduct medical screenings beforehand in order to rule out hires who might be exposed to repetitive injuries that could inflame older ones. You'll benefit from keeping notes on your work history, such as when you were officially hired and when you went to the company's preferred doctor for a screening.

Workplace Stress

It's an employer's responsibility to keep work stress down. Notably, a principle similar to the way pre-existing injuries can be aggravated also applies to pre-existing stress, such as PTSD.


Virtually all work-required travel is covered by workers' compensation laws. This includes everything from taking business trips on an airplane to time spent in a company truck. Individuals who don't work at fixed sites, such as salespeople, oil field workers, and computer support technicians, are also entitled to hearings about claims regarding injuries sustained in all work-related travel.