Are there exceptions to the going and coming rule?
The “going and coming rule” is important in workers’ comp cases. It essentially just excludes a person’s commute. If all they’re doing is driving from their home to the office in the morning, and they get injured in a car accident, they can’t seek workers’ comp benefits because they weren’t acting as an employee at the time. They were not on the clock or performing duties related to their job.
That said, it’s important to note that there are exceptions to the rule. Don’t assume that it always applies. Transportation accidents are actually one of the top reasons for workers’ comp claims. Here are two exceptions to the rule to consider.
Performing a special task
First off, say that your boss comes to you and asks you to carry out a specific task before you come to work. Maybe they want you to drop off a report at a different location or even just pick up coffee for the morning meeting. Once they’ve given you a task to do prior to your commute, the driving that you do for that task counts as part of your employment. If you get in an accident after leaving Starbucks with those cups of coffee, you should be covered by workers’ comp benefits.
Driving between job sites
In some professions, workers will come to a central office and then drive to the job site. This is very common in manual labor professions like construction, house painting, roofing and things of this nature. While driving to the central office may not be covered, driving from that office to the job site – or between job sites during the day – should be covered.
If you have been injured in a car accident or in any other way on the job, just be sure you know how to seek proper workers’ comp benefits.