Workers' Compensation: What You Should Know If You Are in an Accident While Commuting
If you are driving to work and get into a car accident on the way that resulted in an injury, chances are you are not going to receive workers' compensation from your employer. This is a common issue for many people as they mistakenly believe that because they were on the way to work, their employer should pay for their injuries. Most states have a coming-and-going rule, which says that if you are commuting to or from work and are not on the payroll at the time, you will not get workers' compensation should an accident occur. There are a few exceptions, however. The following are some things you should know about commuting to and from work.
When the Rule Does Not Impact Workers' Compensation
There are a few instances where the coming-and-going rule will not prevent an employee from getting workers' compensation. If you are going to a place where you will be doing a job for your employer and you are injured on the way, you could likely get coverage.
For example, if your job requires you to travel to make sales and you are in a car accident while you are driving, that could qualify for workers' compensation benefits. While you are not on the property of your employer, you are doing a job within the scope of your employment and, therefore, meet the requirements for filing a claim. This is the case whether you are in your own car or in a company car.
What You Need to Do After the Accident
You will need to file an incident report with your employer after your accident. This should occur whether you are intending to obtain workers' compensation benefits or not. You need to do this quickly, as there is a time limit on how long you have to file your report. The insurer of your employer's workers' compensation coverage will then go over your case and make a determination whether or not you will qualify for benefits.
If your claim is denied, or if you just want to have added assurance that you are navigating the process correctly, you need to hire a workers' compensation attorney. He or she will work with you through the claims and appeals process so that you will not feel overwhelmed with the process. Your attorney will also work with your employer to have them follow through with everything on their end as well.