If you’ve ever wondered whether you might be covered by workers’ compensation for injuries sustained on your way to or from work, we have the answers you need. In Pennsylvania, the majority of instances involving accidents and injuries on the way to or from the workplace are not covered by workers’ comp – but there are some exceptions.
Injuries of this kind fall under the umbrella of Pennsylvania’s “coming and going” or “going and coming” rule. According to the coming and going rule, workers who are injured while traveling to and from work are not eligible for workers’ compensation. The reasoning behind this? The person was not working at the time and was not at their place of work.
For example, an administrative assistant who rides a bicycle to the office every day is struck while traveling through an intersection near the building. In this case, he would most likely not be covered by workers’ compensation.
There are some exceptions to the coming and going rule that should be explained, however.
A worker injured on their way to or from work may be covered if:
- They have an employment contract that includes travel to and from their workplace.
- They have no fixed workplace.
- They are on a special assignment or work-related task at the time of their accident.
- They were furthering the business of their employer in some way during their commute.
Let’s take a closer look at these exceptions.
The first, involving an employment contract, is fairly straightforward: if the employee’s contract includes transportation to and from the workplace, any resulting injuries should be covered.
The second applies to employees that do not have a fixed workplace. This might include a traveling salesperson or an electrician that drives from site to site to perform repairs. If the worker does not have a central location where they go in person to check in on a regular basis, they could be entitled to workers’ comp if injured on their way to or from a job.
The third and fourth exceptions might apply to a worker who was actually performing a job-related activity as a part of their commute. Special circumstances of this kind could involve running a work-related errand on the way into the office (as requested by a superior or required by their job duties). If the worker was contributing to their employer’s business in some way during their commute, they might be covered.
Because exceptions to the coming and going rule are varied and typically involve unique circumstances, claims of this nature will be decided on a case-by-case basis. This makes it all the more important to involve an attorney who can clearly express the nature of the accident and why your injuries should qualify for workers’ compensation. If you already filed a claim of this kind and it was denied, you have the right to appeal that denial. An attorney can help with that as well.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we have been helping workers in Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania for the past 100 years. During this time, we have seen significant changes in workers’ compensation laws and procedures. We constantly adjust our methods and our strategies accordingly, always putting our clients’ needs first so we can seek the best possible outcome. The coming and going rule does limit coverage for workers who are injured while commuting to and from work, but it is not a catch-all; it does not apply in every situation.
If you were injured on your way to or from work, you could still be entitled to workers’ compensation. You may also have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against whoever caused your accident. Our attorneys can help with any accident-related case and are here to help.
Call (888) 498-3023 today to learn more during a free confidential consultation!