Most employees in the country work out of a single office, store, or premises.
Some may be sent to various jobsites throughout a city, such as a subcontractor.
And yet, there are a select few who actually travel in between states
as part of their job duties. Many of these multistate workers are in the
shipping and transportation industries, such as truck drivers and flight
attendants, but there are actually many occupations that may require a
person to travel across state lines for their work.
These occupations are unique in that they require frequent travel, and
also in that they present unique legal questions when a traveling employee
gets hurt on the job. The most important question in such cases is under
which state’s law the injured worker’s claim will be handled.
While all states have a workers’ compensation system, and there
are many similarities between them, the laws differ from one state to
another. Most importantly, they often differ dramatically with regard
to the amount of benefits available to the injured worker.
When an employer has its principal office in one state, and the employee
is injured in another, the employee can usually choose in which of the
two states to bring the workers’ compensation claim. The employer
usually knows this, and will usually handle the claim under the laws of
the state that the employer believes are most favorable to the employer;
in other words, the laws of the state that provide less benefits to the
Many times, the employer will just start paying Workers’ Compensation
benefits without telling the injured worker that he or she has a choice
of states in which to bring the claim. However, if a worker is injured
in another state, it creates a multijurisdictional case, and the injured
worker should carefully consider in which state to bring the claim. Ideally,
the worker should choose the state in which he or she will be entitled
to receive more benefits.
Multiple Jurisdictions, Multiple Choices
There are pros and cons to having a multijurisdictional workers’
compensation claim. The most noticeable con is the added complexity to
just about everything in the case. Whenever more than one state is concerned
in any legal matter, there is going to be more paperwork, more hoops to
jump through, and more room for error if handling the case is rushed or
As discussed above, the benefit of a multijurisdictional workers’
compensation case is that the employee may choose in which state to file
their claim. For example, if you are employed in Florida but get hurt
in Georgia, you could choose either state’s laws for the handling
of your claim; in this example, Georgia law will nearly always provide
much greater benefits than Florida. This gives you the advantage of choice,
as one state may have rules that are preferable to your unique situation,
allowing you to pursue more compensation or pursue it with less resistance.
The trick to a successful multijurisdictional claim is really in the details,
though. For the average employee, analyzing and weighing one, not to mention
two or more, states’ workers’ comp laws is simply too difficult.
In fact, some attorneys do not understand this, or don’t bother
to discuss it with the injured worker. If you have found yourself in such
a situation where you know you need to file a workers’ comp claim
but don’t know how or in which state to file one, you can rely on
Douglas F. Kaleita, P.C. for help. Our workers’ compensation attorney
in Atlanta, Georgia can help you understand and uphold your rights and
options, backed by nearly three decades’ worth of experience.
Contact our firm
today by calling 888.665.7699 and requesting a free case evaluation.