While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
As a rule, employees are not entitled to workers' compensation benefits if they are injured during their commute. However, as with many other rules, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Here are some of the situations in which workers' compensation should compensate you for your commute injuries.
You Were on a Business Trip
You deserve to be compensated for your injuries if you were injured while commuting during business travel. This makes sense given that business travel is of benefit to your employer, so it can be argued that you were technically on the job. Consider an example in which you are injured while driving back to your hotel from a conference center organized by your employer. In such a case, you were clearly traveling for business and should be compensated for your injuries.
You Have a Job That Requires Constant Travel
You may also enjoy workers' compensation benefits if you were injured in a road accident, and traveling is part of your normal job description. This is likely to be the case if you are in one of those occupations that involve constant traveling, and you don't work in a single office. Examples of employees who may fall in this category include home caregivers, traveling consultants, accident investigators, and salespersons.
You Are an On-Call Employee
An on-call employee is one who should always be ready and available to be called into action by their employer. For example, a nurse who is on call should be ready to drop anything they are doing and drive to the hospital if they are required to do so. Apart from medical workers, other employees who are typically on call include firefighters, emergency responders, and even some retail workers. In such a case, you are obviously at the beck and call of your employer, so you should be compensated if you get injured while driving to work.
You Were on a Work-Related Errand
Lastly, you also deserve workers' compensation for your car accident if you were injured while running an errand for your employer on your way to or from work. Again, this makes sense because the errand is beneficial to your errand. A fitting example is if your boss instructs you to pick up some office supplies on your way to work, and you get involved in a car accident in the process.
Therefore, don't assume you don't deserve workers' compensation benefits because you were injured while driving to work. Consult a workers' comp attorney to help you figure out if there is an exception that may allow you to enjoy the benefits.