Most people associate work-related injuries with those workers encounter on the job, such as industrial accidents, but there are several other categories of work-related accidents and illnesses where benefits may be available. The benefits available from workers' comp are valuable, so it makes sense to seek them if you qualify. Read on to learn more.

Common Benefits

Since workers' comp is run by each state individually, the actual benefits may vary slightly. You can check for more details at your state's workers' comp board online. In most cases, workers can expect the following.

1. Payment for all medical expenses related to the accident or illness, including medications, surgery, hospitalization, and more.

2. A certain percentage of the salary you were earning before you were injured. In many cases that percentage might be about 66.6%.

3. If the injury turns out to be a permanent one, you may be entitled to a lump sum settlement and other benefits.

During Lunch Breaks

In most cases, your lunch break is considered "time-off," and you are not covered for any accidents that occur during that time period. One exception would be if you are fetching lunch for your supervisor since that is considered a work-related errand. If you experienced a severe case of food poisoning in your company cafeteria, it might not be covered by workers' comp, but it would be by personal injury law.

Driving to and from Work

Unless you are doing the commuting in a work-provided vehicle, you are on your own and workers' comp won't cover you.

Minor Injuries

You must seek medical care for injuries, but if it can be taken care of with a bandage and some ointment it may not be serious enough to be covered under a workers' comp claim. Keep in mind that if a minor injury becomes more serious, such as if that minor cut becomes infected, you are covered and should take steps to file a claim right away.

You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred.

You will be tested for the presence of substances when you go to the doctor or emergency room for a work-related injury, and if the test is positive you may not only lose your workers' comp benefits, but your job. It's worth noting that if you are under the influence of a legally-prescribed substance, you may be able to challenge the denial.

While Traveling for Business

If you are injured or become ill anytime during a business trip, you are covered. That coverage extends from the time you leave your door until you return home, as long as it a business-related trip. Additionally, off-site seminars and training sessions are also covered.

Some of the above fall into the "gray area" of workers compensation law. If you are having trouble getting your claim approved, speak to a personal injury attorney.