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What is the 'going and coming' rule?

Most of us understand that we may file a workers' compensation claim if we suffer an injury at work, but when exactly "work" begins is not always as clear. In general, the law does not include an employee's commute as part of one's work, so it is unlikely that you may file a workers' compensation claim if you suffer an injury during your daily commute. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule, known as the "coming and going" rule.

Many types of travel may qualify as work-related. If, for instance, your boss gives you some petty cash and asks you to stop and get donuts for the team in the morning, and you experience a car accident while getting the donuts on the way into work, then this may count as work-related.

Similarly, if you drive as a part of your work, or if you commute between worksites, this generally falls within the scope of your work. Likewise, if you go somewhere on a work trip, then you are considered on the job during your entire stay.

You may also find success claiming workers' compensation if you suffer an injury while driving a company car, even if it is during your daily commute. Depending on the specifics of the law, the company vehicle may only count as part of the workplace when it is on a certain route, or it may always count as part of the workplace.

Whatever your circumstances are it is always wise to consider your options with the guidance of an experienced attorney. Professional legal counsel ensures that you consider every side of a claim and helps you use all your available tools to protect your rights in the workplace.

Source: FindLaw, "The 'Going and Coming' Rule," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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