Perhaps you sustain an injury in a car crash while commuting to work. Will you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
If the other driver was at fault, can you pursue a third-party injury claim?
About the going and coming rule
You may not be familiar with the workers’ compensation “going and coming” rule, but it will come into play if you are injured in a car crash on your way to work. Workers’ compensation covers most work-related injuries, even those that do not occur in the office or on the job site. If, for example, you sustain an injury at the company picnic, you likely qualify to file for workers’ compensation benefits. However, coverage does not extend to your commute to and from work since, under the going and coming rule, the commute is not considered a work-related activity.
Exceptions to the rule
If you are driving to or from work in a company car, however, your commute is usually covered under workers’ compensation. The same is true if you are driving between job sites during your workday. In this instance, you will even qualify for benefits if you suffer an injury while driving your personal vehicle.
If you sustain an injury during your workday due to the negligence of a person or business other than your employer, you may be able to file a third-party injury claim in addition to your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You and your employer represent the first two parties. The third party is the person or business found liable for your injury. An example is a negligent driver who hits you during your commute in the company vehicle. Your attorney can help determine fault for your back injury, and, if applicable, assist with filing a third-party claim.