I was injured in an accident on the way to work. Is my injury covered by Work Comp?
The general rule, called the “Going and Coming Rule,” is that an employee who is injured during his or her drive to or from work is not covered. This is because technically you are not on the job during your commute to and from work. The employer has no control over your actions at this time, and you are not performing a service of benefit to the employer.
However, the rule has many exceptions, which usually require some incidental benefit to the employer. For example, if the employer contributes to the costs of your transportation or you were on a special errand for your employer, you would probably be covered. Examples of the special errand exception include the following: an employee who could not complete her work during her normal work day and was transporting materials home to finish her work; an employee who attended a night school course that the employer encouraged; an employee who transported tools used on the job; an employee who was directed to arrive at work early; and an employee who was required to have an automobile available for use at work.
There are so many exceptions to the rule that another way of looking at it is that travel to and from work is considered to be in the course of your employment unless it is an ordinary commute to a fixed place at a fixed time. In other words, if your work site and the hours you work never change; for example, you work in an office or a packing house from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and you drive to and from work routinely every day, you would not be considered to be in the course of your employment during your commute.
Whether your injury is covered by Work Comp depends on the particular set of facts involved in your situation. There are many variables that come into play, and every situation is unique.
If you have questions about your workers' compensation injury and want to talk to an attorney in Fresno, please call 559-408-7436 or fill out the form to the right.
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