Are Commuting or Traveling Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation in Wisconsin?

Workers' Compensation

An accident can happen any time or anywhere. If you travel as part of your job, there is always a risk you could be injured. This raises an important question: Are travel-related accidents covered by workers’ compensation in Wisconsin? The short answer is it depends. Generally, daily commutes are not covered, but required work-related travel is covered. Below, our Milwaukee workers’ comp lawyers provide a more comprehensive explanation of how Wisconsin treats commuting accidents and workplace travel accidents.

Traveling and Workers’ Comp Claims in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Not Covered: A Daily Commute

The average American employee spends around 50 minutes a day commuting to and from work. Unfortunately, accidents can happen during this time — especially if, you drive to work. As a general matter, your daily commute is not covered by workers’ compensation insurance in Wisconsin. A daily commute is considered outside of the purview of the employer-employee relationship.

Covered: Off-Site Trips at Employer’s Direction

Some employees may be asked to do off-site work for their company or organization. In Wisconsin, off-site trips are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance — at least assuming the employee is acting at the discretion of their employee.

As an example, imagine you work for a small construction company. During a project, a supervisor notices key materials are missing and asks you to make a quick run to a hardware store to purchase new materials. If you are involved in a car accident during that trip, your injuries would likely be covered by workers’ comp because your trip was performed at your employer’s orders and discretion —you were still “working” as you were driving to the store.

Covered: Required Employment-Related Travel

State law is clear that traveling employees are covered by workers’ comp while on company-sponsored trips. As described by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, an employee who is required to travel for work is covered at all times, including while they are eating or sleeping. The only exception is if the employee deviates from accepted work duties for personal reasons during the trip.

Complicated Cases: A Workers’ Comp Lawyer Will Get You Answers

The basic rule in Wisconsin is daily commutes are not covered by workers’ compensation, but employer-directed travel is covered. Of course, every case carries its own unique set of facts. During a free, confidential consultation, our Milwaukee workers’ comp attorneys will review your claim and explain your options for compensation under state law.

Schedule a Free, Confidential Workers’ Comp Consultation

At Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf, our Wisconsin work injury attorneys are aggressive, results-focused advocates for clients. If you have any questions about travel-related workplace accidents, we can help. To schedule a no cost, no obligation review of your case, please contact us at (415) 257-2667. We represent injured workers throughout Wisconsin, including in Milwaukee, Janesville, Kenosha, Waukesha, Menomonee Falls, Port Washington and Racine.