There are many potentially hazardous things you have to do at work and many ways in which you can be injured. Office workers can be hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, construction workers could be injured by heavy machinery and commercial drivers could be injured in a car accident.
But speaking of driving, there is a chance that your commute is the most dangerous part of your job. After all, roughly 40,000 people pass away in car accidents every year in the United States. You may have a relatively safe job once you get to the office, but you still have to drive through traffic to get there and back. The odds of being injured in an accident are high, and you may want to know if you’d be covered by workers’ comp. The only reason for the drive is to get to work, so does that mean you can seek benefits and compensation for things like lost wages or medical bills?
The going-and-coming rule
You actually are not covered during your commute. The going-and-coming rule has been established to essentially exclude a commute. As long as the workers are not on the clock, they are not yet covered by workers’ compensation laws.
There are exceptions to this. One would be if your boss gives you a task or a special mission – like picking up coffee – to complete before you come in to work, meaning that you are basically on the clock even during your commute. Another exception is if you have to drive as part of your job, whether that means being a commercial driver or simply driving from a central location to a specific job site.
As you can see, this may be a bit more complicated than you anticipated. If you have been injured, it’s quite important to understand all the legal options at your disposal.