Can you claim workers’ comp if injured after clocking out? In some cases, yes, but conditions apply. Understand the rules and exceptions.
Workers’ comp insurance provides benefits to workers who suffer work-related injuries or illness on the job. This coverage may include medical bills, compensation for lost wages, and even death benefits.
In Missouri, workers’ comp is designed for work-related injuries. But terms like “work-related” and “on-the-job” often cause confusion in workers’ compensation matters. For instance, if an injury occurs during a break, does it qualify as work-related? What if the injury happens just minutes after clocking out? Would you still be eligible for a workers’ comp claim?
Understanding the Act of Clocking Out
Clocking out, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, signifies “registering one’s departure from work.” Essentially, it means concluding your work-related activities and leaving the workplace. Once clocked out, you’re generally no longer under your employer’s authority and won’t earn wages until you clock back in.
Compensation for Injuries After Clocking Out: What to Expect?
You typically can’t claim benefits for injuries or sickness occurring after clocking out. When you clock out, you leave your employer’s authority, ending your official duties. Hence, any injuries that occur after you clock out generally aren’t associated with your employer and aren’t eligible for workers’ comp.
The Going and Coming Rule Explained
Missouri adheres to the Going and Coming rule, implying that employers aren’t responsible for injuries during employees’ commutes. Consequently, mishaps like car accidents or slips during the commute usually aren’t insured under workers’ comp.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Going and Coming Rule?
It may seem unjust to bear medical costs for injuries while heading to work, but the Going and Coming rule does have exceptions:
- Work-Related Travel: The rule doesn’t apply to those whose job is to travel, such as truck drivers, bus drivers, police officers, and messengers. Injuries during such travels are compensable as they’re integral to the job.
- Shuttling Between Work Locations: Injuries during travels between different work locations are typically covered since they’re considered work-related, unlike regular commutes.
- Driving a Company-Owned Vehicle: If an accident happens in a company car, you might qualify for workers’ comp benefits. However, the specifics of the case and evidence that the travel was work-related will influence the decision.
Seeking Legal Counsel for Missouri Workers’ Comp
While workers’ comp primarily covers work-related injuries, clocking out might hinder your claim. Yet, specific scenarios could make you eligible even after clocking out. Hence, it’s advisable to consult a trustworthy attorney for precise legal guidance.
If you need help with your workers’ comp claim, contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7. We have over 30 years of experience assisting injured Missouri workers and can help you protect your rights after a work injury.
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