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Does your commuting injury qualify for workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

There are hundreds of thousands of car accidents every year in the United States. Any time that you drive your car, there is a risk that someone else will make a mistake, hit your vehicle, and cause serious injuries.

For many workers, then, this means that their commute is one of the most dangerous things that they do for their job. Even though someone could technically get injured working in an office building, for example, their injury odds are higher when they’re on the road. They still have to drive to the office every morning and drive home at night, exposing themselves to this level of risk, so would they qualify for workers’ comp benefits if they get injured in an accident?

Performing work-related duties

In general, the so-called “coming and going rule” in Pennsylvania means that employees who are injured commuting to or from work are not covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured during their commute.  However, there are exceptions which could make a commuting injury covered under workers’ comp.  Employees may be covered if they were performing work-related duties during their commute. For example, maybe their boss asked them to stop at another business location, pick up supplies, and then bring that box of materials with them to the office. This may be a work-related task or a “special mission,” and it means that the person may be covered because they were actively driving for their employer at the time of the accident.  Traveling employees who have no fixed place of work may not be subject to the coming and going rule at all, and may enjoy a presumption that they are furthering their employer’s business while on the road.

However, many workers are not performing any tasks other than driving to the office location. In that case, they would not qualify for workers comp benefits due to the going and coming rule. They would have to have actually arrived at the worksite to get coverage.

Exploring your options

Injuries suffered while commuting are extremely fact-specific, and should always be reviewed by an experienced, certified specialist workers’ compensation attorney.  Car accidents are only one of the ways that you could get injured on the job. If you would like to set up a free consultation or learn more about your specific situation, please contact our law firm today!