New technology means that more and more companies are starting to have international business. The idea of getting to travel to foreign places as part of your work might sound fun and exciting, but it can be a little more complicated if you end up getting hurt while you are on your business trip. Here’s what you need to do if you have been injured on a business trip overseas.
See If Your Injury Counts as Work Related
Your ability to get medical compensation will primarily rely on what you were doing during the accident. There have already been many legal rulings about what counts as a work environment while traveling. Typically, you will be covered under workers’ compensation if the injury occurs while you are working or doing anything considered to be a basic necessity of your work. This includes things like traveling, working in an office, driving for work, meeting clients for drinks, or visiting the company’s properties. You will also be covered during international travel when doing basic things like eating, exercising, and sleeping.
However, workers’ compensation typically is not required if you were doing something for your own entertainment. If you were injured while doing something like skiing, going to the beach, clubbing, or boating, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation. It may be possible to argue successfully for workers’ compensation, but typically, a company will not provide compensation if you were injured while doing something that had nothing to do with your work and was not necessary for you to live normally while doing your work abroad.
Keep in mind that workers’ compensation is always on a case by case basis. Having a good attorney on your side can make a huge amount of difference in your situation. Getting proper representation can ensure that your employer is not able to dismiss your claim for compensation by arguing that you were not actually working during the injury.
Make Sure All Aspects of Your Injury Are Covered
In general, workers’ compensation covers things like car accidents, basic illnesses, broken bones, and other normal types of injury or sickness. However, not all injuries and illnesses make a person eligible for workers’ compensation. Many policies do not cover evacuation expenses. If you had to be evacuated out of the foreign country and taken to a place where your illness can be treated, you might not be able to get compensation for airlifts and other expenses incurred.
Coverage may be voided if the injury occurred while you were doing something that violates company policy. For example, texting while driving or using drugs may keep your injury from being covered. Some states also do not require coverage for specific types of diseases. Depending on where you live and what sort of coverage policy your employer has, you might not be able to get workers’ compensation for endemic diseases that are rare and particular to certain countries.
Check the Laws for Workers’ Compensation at Your Company’s Location
Standard workers’ compensation laws typically only apply when you were hired in the United States. Employers who have foreign employees working in a foreign country typically just need to satisfy that nation’s laws. Therefore, you could run into some trouble if you are not a person hired in the United States. For example, if you are a Mexican national who is hired in Mexico by a United States-based company and are sent on a business trip to France, the company would just have to satisfy Mexican laws for workers’ compensation.
Each state has slightly different workers’ compensation laws, so you need to be well informed about the laws for the state that your company is based in. This will help you to avoid any misunderstandings and follow the correct process for getting workers’ compensation in your state. It may be helpful to get legal help from a local lawyer who understands your state’s laws.
Learn about Your Company’s Workers Compensation Coverage
If possible, it is helpful to look into the type of workers’ compensation coverage your employer has. Domestic insurance policies typically cover basic injuries when an employee is on a temporary visit to another country. However, if the employee’s trip lasts more than a few months, the employer’s domestic policy may not cover the employee. They may only have insurance for your injuries if they got a special foreign travel insurance policy. Of course, your company may still legally owe you compensation if they do not have workers’ compensation coverage. However, a business is far less likely to contest a claim when their insurance will just take care of it for them.
File a Workers Compensation Claim
The workers’ compensation process is the same for both domestic and foreign injuries. You will need to report your injury to a superior at work as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you may have as little as 30 days to report the injury before your eligibility for workers’ compensation goes away. You will then need to fill out workers’ compensation forms through your employer. If they have an HR department, a representative can help you to make your claim. Your employer will then need to file the paperwork with its insurer, and you will receive either an acceptances or denial letter.
Know How to Proceed If Your Claim Is Contested
If your company disputes your workers’ compensation claim, you still have some hope of getting your injury covered. Your state’s workers’ compensation board will be brought in to investigate the claim and make a decision. At this point, it is best to get a lawyer if you do not already have one. This will ensure that you get the representation and treatment you deserve.
To prove your claim, you will need to visit a physician who can provide an impartial assessment of your injuries. You may need to provide evidence about what happened during your injury or show medical bills to confirm the costs of your treatments in a foreign hospital. Even if your initial hearing with the workers’ compensation department goes poorly, you do not need to give up. You are allowed to appeal the case in your state’s court and try to argue for the compensation you deserve. These sorts of cases can quickly become contentious and tense. But with the right evidence and representation, you may be able to claim compensation for an overseas injury.