Driving a car is the most dangerous part of most workdays. When it comes to many types of worker protections, however, the commute might not count as an official part of work.
In other words, workers’ compensation generally does not cover the commute. Insurance claims and lawsuits are often the way people deal with these injuries financially.
Going and coming rule
Coverage lacks on the drive due to the going-and-coming rule. Employers have to keep the workplace safe, but that does not apply to highways, public transportation and city streets.
In other words, workers do not typically have workers’ compensation access when going to and coming from a place of work to do work-related activities. It bears mentioning that offsite events or work trips might all qualify as work activities.
Exceptions to the rule
Worker’s compensation should cover most injuries people receive during work. Some examples of this in a commuting context might be:
- Going to different sites during a shift
- Professional driving, such as deliveries or service calls
- Using company cars
- Special missions, such as stopping for coffee on your way to work at a boss’s request
In other words, there are quite a few exceptions. In most cases, however, it would depend on whether the law considers the driving a work-related activity.
Interstate commutes may be slightly more complex. In these cases, people might live in one state and pursue a lawsuit in another. Also, insurance settlements are contracts — signing them too early could endanger some of an injured person’s rights.