As you are driving to work, you become the victim of a rear-end collision and sustain a whiplash injury.
You intend to file a workers’ compensation claim believing your injury is work-related. But is it? This incident may fall under the “going and coming” rule.
What it is
Any injuries you suffer during your commute to and from work do not qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits under the going and coming rule. However, there are exceptions. For example, you are eligible to file a claim if you are driving a company vehicle, and you are eligible if you are driving between job sites, even if you are in your own car.
If your work involves travel and you sustain an on-the-job injury, you are likely to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For example, you might be a pilot, a bus driver or a state trooper. However, remember that while driving your own vehicle to the airport or bus station, an injury suffered during your commute is subject to the going and coming rule. Also, if you travel on business, say, to attend a seminar or visit a client, the total hours or days you spend in travel count as work-related time if you should suffer an injury.
How a special mission applies
One further exemption to the going and coming rule is the “special mission.” If your manager asks you to pick up a cup of coffee for her on your way to work, and you sustain a slip-and-fall injury, you are likely eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. That special mission for your manager is considered to be work-related.