If you suffer an injury outside of work and it is unrelated to your work, you have no right to claim compensation from your employer, as it isn’t an accident at work.
So, whether your injury came whilst playing five a side football with work colleagues in the evening or as a result of tripping up on a pavement whilst walking home from work, any claim would be directed to the person or authority responsible which, in the types of cases described, would not include your employer.
However, just because an employee is injured in an accident that occurs away from the employer’s premises does not necessarily prevent them from bringing an accident at work claim against their employers.
Many workers are employed to carry out their duties away from company’s premises. The employees of a window cleaning company who are required to clean windows at customers’ homes or businesses, will still have valid grounds for bringing an accident at work claim against their employer if they suffer injury in an accident caused by defective equipment supplied by their employer. That the accident happened away from their employer’s premises is irrelevant.
What’s the case if your work involves driving as part of your duties and you are injured in an accident whilst driving on company business?
If the road traffic accident you are involved in is obviously the fault of another driver, then your employer will probably want to make a claim for vehicle damage and other losses from the insurers of the other driver. They will usually arrange for you to bring a personal injury claim against the other driver too.
If you are injured whilst driving on company business as a result of an accident caused by your negligence, then your employers will be held responsible for your actions because of something called ‘vicarious liability’.
In most cases, you would have no cause for bringing an accident at work claim against your employer for the injuries you suffered in an accident that you caused. The exception would be if your employer causes or permits you to drive whilst you are tired. If, due to a lapse of concentration brought on by your being tired, you suffer injury in an accident, you may have grounds for bringing an accident at work claim against your employer. This happened in the decided court case of Eyres v Atkinsons Kitchens Court of Appeal 24 April 2007.