Workers’ compensation laws are in place to help ensure that individuals can recover compensation if they sustain an on-the-job injury. However, what happens if you get injured while you are on break at work? Recovering compensation for an injury sustained while on break can be challenging, depending on where a person was taking a break and whether or not the break was paid.
In many cases, individuals leave the job site for their lunch break or other breaks. If a person leaves a job site and is off the clock during their break, it is unlikely that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will approve any claim for an injury that occurs during this time frame. Workers’ compensation in Colorado is designed to pay for injuries that occur while a person is performing job-related duties.
If a person takes a break and the break area is on the job site, perhaps in a break room, and an injury occurs, then there is a good chance that workers’ compensation insurance will agree to pay the claim. All parts of the workplace are the employer’s responsibility to maintain. This includes break rooms. Given injury occurs in the break room, regardless of who is at fault, the employee will likely recover compensation for their losses.
Additionally, if the employer or a co-worker caused the accident, it is likely that workers’ compensation insurance will cover medical bills and lost wages.
When a person goes on break, whether a lunch break or another type of break, they should not have to worry about any job-related duties. Typically, breaks are required and protected under Colorado law. However, there are times when employers do not necessarily follow laws when it comes to breaks. If you are being paid while on break, and if you are required to perform job-related duties, even something as minuscule as discussing something with your supervisor, you are on the clock.
If you are being paid or are asked to perform job-related duties during your break, and you sustain an injury during this time frame, it is very likely that workers’ compensation will pay for your injury expenses.
In the event you sustain an on-the-job injury that will be covered through the workers’ compensation system, you should be able to recover a range of types of compensation. First and foremost, all medical bills associated with the injury should be covered until you reach full recovery.
Additionally, if you are unable to work while you recover from your injury, you should be able to recover a significant portion of your compensation. In Colorado, this typically means you receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time the injury occurred. You will continue receiving this compensation for a specified amount of time. In the event you sustain a long-term disability caused by a workplace injury, you may be able to recover various types of long-term disability benefits under the Colorado workers’ compensation system.
Understanding whether or not you will receive compensation after sustaining an injury while on break can be confusing. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Denver workers compensation attorney, particularly if your employer or the insurance carrier pushes back on having to pay compensation.