When you suffer an injury while performing job-related duties, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits which covers your medical expenses and lost wages for any missed work time. However, is your morning or evening commute considered part of your work injuries?
Unfortunately, if you get hurt during your commute, you will generally not be eligible for benefits. According to the “coming-and-going” rule, employers are not responsible for covering any injuries that occurred outside the workplace or while doing anything unrelated to the job.
Yet, there are several exceptions to this rule, which include the following:
- You are doing something on behalf of your employer – If you were injured while performing a “special mission” for your employer outside of regular work hours, your injury could be covered by workers’ compensation. Common examples of special missions include getting coffee for the staff on your morning commute, picking up food during your lunch hour, or dropping off your boss’s dry cleaning while driving home in the evening.
- You are still on the employer’s premises – As soon as you are on workplace property, you are covered by workers’ compensation in the event of an injury. This includes sidewalks, parking lots, and even areas of grass on the premises. If you suffer an injury after being involved in an accident in the parking lot or while walking the sidewalks, you could be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
- You are on a business trip – Although going away on business is not part of your normal commute, any travel for work-related purposes is covered by workers’ compensation. If you are driving from the hotel to the business meeting and you end up getting injured in a car accident on your way, you are covered.
- You travel to multiple sites – Salespeople, technicians, nurses, plumbers, and other workers you are frequently on the road as part of daily job operations are typically exempt from the coming-and-going rule.
- You drive a company vehicle – While some states cover injuries while employees are operating a company vehicle, others require them to only travel between a fixed location.
Whether you need legal services to file for workers’ compensation or your initial claim was denied, our Orange County workers’ comp attorney at Humphrey & Associates is ready to protect your rights and best interests to obtain the benefits you deserve. We understand that employers and their insurance companies are committed to paying injured employees as little as possible or not at all, which is why we do whatever it takes to maximize your benefits.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.