Workers face a lot of different risks, and some of those risks exist on the road. In fact, many workers are injured in car accidents every year.
This is where the coming and going rule comes into play. Generally speaking, it’s a legal theory stating that workers who are coming in for the day or going home for the night are not covered by workers’ comp during their commute. In other words, if you get into a car accident on the way to work in the morning, you cannot then file a workers’ compensation claim on the grounds that you were acting as an employee at the time. This is true even though you were technically driving because you had to get to work. If you haven’t clocked in yet, you still probably are not covered.
Are you ever covered when you’re in the car?
There are certainly plenty of times when you may be covered by workers’ comp when you’re in your car. For instance, your boss might ask you to run some errands in the middle of the day. If you get involved in a car accident while you’re running those errands, even though you’re not technically a professional driver, you’re still on the clock and you can seek workers’ comp.
You simply can’t do it when the accident happens on either side of your shift. You do have to drive at those times, and rush hour traffic notoriously sees high levels of traffic congestion and a lot of accidents, but that doesn’t mean you qualify as a worker at those times.
Seeking workers’ compensation
If you are injured in a qualifying car accident, that’s when you need to know exactly how you can file for workers’ compensation for medical bills and other costs.