Is My Commute Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
August 1, 2017
One day you are driving to work and, suddenly, a car crashes into you. You are injured, and your car is totaled. What next? Do you report the incident to your boss to receive workers’ compensation, or just file a traditional insurance claim? In general, you cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits if you got hurt while commuting to or from work. However, certain employees in certain circumstances may be eligible to file a WC claim. The distinction lies between “stationary” and “traveling” employees, and the exceptions in both of these categories.
Many employees travel to and from the same workplace location every day. Perhaps they work in an office building, a retail store, restaurant, or other set location. These are known as “fixed place of employment” or “stationary” employees. Under the so-called “coming-and-going” rule in Philadelphia, commutes (or off-premise lunch breaks) are not covered by workers’ compensation, unless:
- Your employment contract includes transportation to and from work
- You were on special assignment for your employer
- You were somehow furthering the business of your employer
So, if you were running an errand for your boss on the way home from work and were injured in a car accident, that could be covered under workers’ compensation.
Traveling employees are quite the opposite. They are almost always considered to be covered during their “commutes.” Traveling employees are workers who do not necessarily report to an office or fixed location in the beginning of their shift. Rather, they typically drive company-provided vehicles to their work site for the day or to different worksites. These types of workers might include:
- Repair persons (e.g., a cable repair man)
- Personal assistants
- Cleaning personnel
- Sales people
- Truck drivers
- Delivery men and women
- Bus drivers
- Employees on business trips
If a traveling employees is on their way to a job and gets into an accident, they will be covered under . The most notable exception, however, is if employees “abandon” their work. This means they were injured while running a personal errand. Or, if while on a business trip, they finished their work for the day, and then got hurt while sightseeing at night.
Workers’ compensation cases can be quite complicated. The skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates can sort through all the messy legal details to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We offer no-cost consultations. To learn more, call 888.PITT.LAW or complete a contact form. We proudly represent injured workers throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.