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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Can I Get Workers' Comp for an Accident During My Commute?


Workers' compensation is a crucial aspect of employment law designed to protect employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In California, this system ensures that injured workers receive necessary medical care and financial support while they recover.

However, not all injuries are covered under workers' compensation, particularly those that occur outside the workplace. One common question that arises is whether injuries sustained during a commute are eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

The Going-and-Coming Rule

In California, the "going-and-coming rule" is a legal doctrine that generally excludes injuries sustained during an employee's commute from being covered by workers' compensation. This rule operates on the principle that daily travel to and from work is not considered to be within the scope of employment. The rationale is that the employer doesn’t control the employee during their commute and, therefore, should not be held responsible for injuries that occur during this time.

Exceptions to the Going-and-Coming Rule

Despite the general exclusion under the going-and-coming rule, there are notable exceptions where workers' compensation may still apply. Understanding these exceptions can help employees determine if their commute-related injury might be eligible for benefits.

Special Mission Exception

One significant exception is the "special mission" rule. If an employee is performing a task or duty requested by their employer, even if it occurs outside of normal working hours or away from the regular workplace, injuries sustained during this time can be covered by workers' compensation. For example, if an employer asks an employee to run an errand on their way home, any injury that occurs during this errand could be compensable.

Employer-Provided Transportation

Another exception involves employer-provided transportation. If an employer provides transportation for employees, either through a company vehicle or a shuttle service, and an injury occurs while using this transportation, it may be covered by workers' compensation. This exception applies because the employer has a greater degree of control over the employee's safety during the commute.

Work-From-Home Scenarios

With the rise of remote work, questions about commuting have evolved. If an employee works from home and sustains an injury while performing work-related tasks, this injury may be covered. However, if the injury occurs while commuting from home to another work site, it generally falls under the going-and-coming rule unless one of the exceptions applies.

Contact a Lawyer for Legal Assistance

While the going-and-coming rule generally excludes commute-related injuries from coverage, several important exceptions can make such injuries compensable. Employees who find themselves injured during their commute should consider the specific circumstances of their case and may need to seek legal advice to determine their eligibility for benefits.

Smolich and Smolich can help if you wish to assess whether you qualify for an exception to the coming and going rule. If you believe your commute-related injury applies to one of these exceptions, we can help you assess the viability of your claim. If it doesn’t, we are also experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you file an injury claim against the parties responsible for an accident that occurred during your commute.

Contact online today to learn more.