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How Does Workers' Comp Handle Out-Of-State Injuries?

When you work and live in the same state, filing a workers' comp claim is fairly straightforward. However, things can become fairly complex pretty quickly if you work in a different state from where your company is located and are hurt on the job. Here are some issues you may encounter when filing a claim for an out-of-state injury with workers' comp.

Coverage May Be Time-Restricted

A common problem people who are injured while traveling for their jobs or working in out-of-state locations face is that the company's policy may limit how long coverage will apply to people working in extraterritorial areas. For instance, some policies will only cover employees who have worked out of state for less than six months. So, if your company is located in Massachusetts and you were injured in month seven of working in Maryland, Massachusetts workers' comp will reject your claim because you were out of its jurisdiction for too long.

In this situation, you may still have a couple of options for getting compensated for the damages and losses you sustained because of your injury. If your company's policy extends to the state where you were working, you can still file a claim but it would have to be done in the state where you were hurt (e.g., Maryland instead of Massachusetts). This can be less than ideal in some cases because each state provides workers with different benefits, and the benefits you receive in the host state may be less than what you would get in your home state.

The other option is to sue the company directly for compensation. Whether this option is available to you, however, will depend on state laws. It's best to consult with a workers' comp attorney for assistance with determining if suing your employer for reimbursement is a viable option.

There May Be No Coverage at All

Just because your company has workers' comp insurance doesn't mean it's valid in every state. In fact, your company must specify which states the insurance policy covers; otherwise, claims by employees injured while working out of state will be rejected because they were working in a non-covered state.

In this situation, your only recourse will be to negotiate with your employer for reimbursement or sue for damages if the company refuses to pay you what you're owed. Most workers' comp attorneys will take these types of cases on a contingency basis, so you only have to pay for legal services if you win your lawsuit.

To learn more about this issue or help resolving your workers' compensation claim, contact a workers comp attorney today.