Where Does an Employee File a Workers’ Compensation Claim if They Work Out of State?
If an employer purchases workers’ compensation insurance in one state but has employees who work or live in other states, the employer may have a gap in coverage. Employees can choose the jurisdiction in which they file their claim when they are injured under the following three standards.
- An employee can file a claim in the state where they usually work.
- An employee can file a claim in the state where they are injured.
- An employee can file a claim in the state where they live.
Most people work and live in the same state where they are injured. However, when that is not the case, coverage purchased in one state may not cover a claim filed elsewhere.
What Coverage Is Included in the Policy?
Workers’ compensation policies are specific to the state listed in the documentation. Each state has its own rules about what is and is not covered. When you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to know which state(s) are covered by the policy.
If the employer owns facilities in more than one state, all those states should be listed in the policy. If you are injured in a state not listed in the policy, your claim may not be covered. However, some state laws include extraterritorial provisions. This additional level of coverage allows for claims for damages that occur in another state. Extraterritorial coverage is usually limited to 30 days or less. Here is an example of how it might work.
An employee works typically in Tennessee but goes on a temporary assignment in Kentucky, where he is injured. If the employer’s policy documents are specific to Tennessee, then the employee is eligible for benefits in Tennessee. However, extraterritorial coverage may make him eligible for benefits under Kentucky’s rules as long as he was working in Kentucky for less than 30 days.
What Happens if an Injury Happens in a State Not Covered by the Policy?
Even if the workers’ compensation policy does not cover the injury, the employer may still be responsible for the expenses and benefits. If an employee is injured in a state other than the one listed in the policy, she may choose to receive benefits under that state’s laws if the benefits are more generous. The insurance policy will pay only as much as the home state allows; any amount beyond that is the responsibility of the employer.
Where Can I Get Help?
If this seems complicated, it is. You should contact a knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey work accident lawyer to preserve your rights and your access to benefits.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and out of state work injuries.