Car Accidents and Worker’s Compensation Eligibility

An injury that happens because of a work-related accident is generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If your job requires travel, however, or if you commute to work, the question of workers’ compensation becomes a little more complicated. While there may be general rules regarding commuters and workers’ compensation, there are also exceptions. Consider this your guide to commuting and travel rules regarding workers’ compensation.

What Is Coming and Going?

There is a rule that most workers’ compensation policies abide by. This is the coming and going rule. This means that the act of driving to and from work does not actively benefit your employer and hence you can’t receive benefits when you’re heading to and from work. Only injuries when under your employer’s control have coverage.

Now, keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, say that you work from home in the evenings. If you are going from your jobsite to your home to continue paid work, then technically, you may still be under the employer’s control and this drive may benefit her or him.

What Are More Exceptions?

Aside from working from home, there are several exceptions to this rule. One of the most common exceptions is known as the special mission rule. The special mission rule occurs when the employer requires the employee to leave the workplace or if the employee is carrying out work-related duties. This may include travel for a client meeting.

In addition, a car accident may receive coverage under the travel time exception. If your employer pays you for travel time, if you are using an authorized vehicle or taking part in a mandatory carpool, then the employer is responsible. In these cases, you can still receive benefits, even if you are in a car accident.

Now, one other exception involves the parking lot at work. In some cases, you may have a general parking lot and in these cases, your job does not begin until you step in the building. However, if you have designated parking spot or if the employer owns the parking lot, then you may be eligible if the accident takes place in the lot.

Workers’ compensation rules are not always black and white. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may want to discuss your options with a workers’ compensation attorney. With as complex as these cases can be, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Source: Plantation, FL Work Injury Lawyer, Law Office of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt

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