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Workers’ Compensation & Your Commute

Commuting is an essential part of the workday. However, many people wonder if they are covered by workers’ compensation in the event of an injury during their morning or evening commute?

The “going and coming rule” states workers’ compensation generally doesn’t apply to injuries that occur while commuting to or from work. While an injured employee could argue that their commute is part of the job, this rule is consistently applied to such situations.

However, there are several exceptions to this rule, which include the following:

  1. Special missions – If your employer tasks you with picking up coffee for the office on your way to work in the morning, this is considered a “special mission.” In general, this type of task is for the benefit of the employer outside regular work hours. So, if you’re injured during your commute while running a work errand, you are entitled to workers comp benefits.
  2. Traveling employees – If you regularly travel for work or you don’t have a fixed work site, you can claim workers’ compensation in the event of an injury during travel. For example, on-call employees are covered once they are called in to work—even if the injury occurs at home.
  3. Business trips – If you’re traveling on a business trip, it is considered within the scope of employment. So, if you suffer an injury on the way to a business meeting from your hotel, workers’ compensation will apply.
  4. Company vehicles – While driving your own personal vehicle is exempt from the going and coming rule, commuting in a company vehicle is typically covered.

If any of the exceptions of the going and coming rule mentioned above apply to your case, you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. If your employer or its insurer disputes your claim, our experienced legal team at Smolich & Smolich can help you obtain the benefits necessary to recover from injury.

For more information about workers’ compensation in Sacramento, contact us at (916) 571-0400 and request a free consultation today.

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