Lunch Time Injuries

A Closer Look at Break or Lunch Time Injuries and Your Right to Worker's Compensation


While it's generally pretty easy to identify work-related injuries that happen directly on the job, it's harder to figure out what injuries may be compensated for during break times and lunch times. In order to receive worker's compensation you'll need to prove that your illness or injury is work-related and that you meet other requirements for eligibility.

Lunch time and break time injuries can fall into a gray area and this is when it is so necessary to contact a lawyer for help. Depending on the injury and where it occurred, you could be eligible for compensation or you may not be. It all really depends on the circumstances.


Lunch Break Injuries

In general, an illness or injury that takes place during your lunch break will not be covered. For example, if you break your arm when stopping at a restaurant for some lunch, it's highly likely that your claim for workers' compensation will not go through. This is not work-related and is considered to be personal time. On the other hand, if your boss asks you to pick up lunch for him and you were doing so at the restaurant while getting some lunch for yourself, there is a chance that you may be covered.

If you happen to break your arm while you are in the on-site cafeteria at your office, there is also a chance that you could be covered for your injury. When you use an on-site location to have your lunch, you'll be saving time and be able to work more, which may be considered work-related. As well, if you're having lunch at a special event that is sponsored by your company such as at a picnic or a baseball game, you'll probably be covered.


Break Times

In most cases a break time injury will qualify for workers compensation benefits because you won't be leaving the company workspace. If, however, you go off-site this will be a different story. Of course, every situation will be different so it's always best to talk to an attorney regarding a break time injury of any sort.


Lunch and Break Illnesses

If you suddenly fall ill during break time or lunch time, you will be compensated if the illness is determined to be work-related. For example, if you are working in a factory and using repeated motions day after day to get the job done and then your arm starts to hurt when you're at a restaurant during a lunch break, there's a good chance that your coverage will be granted. If you develop that pain in your chest while stopping by your local deli and it's determined that the pain is job-stress related, you may also qualify for funds from workers compensation.

When it comes to lunch time and break time illnesses and injuries, don't assume that you won't be covered if you aren't on the job. Get the advice of a lawyer to find out whether you should apply for compensation or not. In some cases, while you may assume that you aren't qualified for compensation, you really may be. Don't leave money on the table - find out your rights first.