In this post we will look at the so-called “coming and going” rule and also third-party negligence lawsuits.
What is the going and coming rule?
While many assume that commuting to and from work is a job responsibility, the going and coming rule essentially states that injuries sustained on the commute are not covered in these benefits. In other words, if a worker is going to work or coming home from work, workers’ compensation injury benefits do not apply. One main exception is based on whether the worker was commuting in a company car. While the legal application has been inconsistent, many courts consider commuting in a vehicle with the organization’s logo emblazoned on it a form of work-related advertising and thus a job task.
There are certain instances when job-related travel is necessary, including:
- If the worker is traveling as part of a clear job duty: While commuting to and from work is not generally considered a work duty, many workers drive as their primary task. These workers can include truck drivers, bus drivers and taxi drivers.
- If the trip is considered a minor job task: Even though travel might not be considered your main role, a worker is often tasked with driving to and from a location. This can include shuttling supplies from one work location to another or traveling to a satellite location to solve a problem.
- If the task is given by a supervisor: Even though the task might not be job-related, many workers are forced to drive under the instructions of their manager. If the manager sends you to pick up coffee, doughnuts or lunch for the staff this is likely considered a job task. Additionally, tasks unrelated to work such as picking up the boss’s dry cleaning or running similar errands might still fall under a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation benefits exist to help employees avoid financial peril after a serious injury. The worker is entitled to seek benefits that could include medical bills and lost wages.
Negligent third-party personal injury lawsuits
Negligent third-party personal injury lawsuits arise when a third party’s negligence injures a worker.
An example of this would be a person who is driving as part of his or her job duties and is struck by a negligent driver who is not affiliated with the employer. In this situation, the injured person could go beyond workers’ comp and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Why would the injured driver take legal action beyond workers’ comp? The lawsuit could help the injured person recover compensation that is greater than what workers’ comp would pay.
No matter the severity of the injury or the circumstances that led to it, it is crucial that you seek skilled legal guidance regarding a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible.