You have to prove that your injury is work-related to recover workers compensation benefits.
When you are injured while performing under the scope of your employment duties, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits are designed to pay for an employee’s medical costs and any lost wages. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits you have to prove that you were injured while performing under the scope and authority of your job description. You can’t just be injured while you are at work.
The “going and coming” rule for workers’ compensation benefits is a rule that states an employee is not eligible for benefits if they are commuting to and from work, unless that commute was in some way was related to their work duties. That does not mean that if you are coming or going to work and are injured that you are automatically not covered. It just means that you have to prove that your commute was work-related, and that you were technically “on the job” when you were injured.
For instance, if you were running an errand for your boss and injured while doing so, then you would be eligible for workers compensation. However, if you were speeding to make it to work on time and were injured, then you would not be eligible to recover. Sometimes proving that your commute was under the scope of your employment can become problematic and might take the help of a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney to sort through the logistics of your individual case.
Exceptions to the Going and Coming Rule
There are exceptions to the going and coming rule. If you are commuting in a company car, there are times when you might be able to argue that the logo can be considered advertising, meaning no matter where you were commuting to, it was work-related. Some other reasons may include:
- If you are traveling as a major part of your job duties, like in sales, then your injuries would most likely be covered through workers’ compensation, since traveling is a part of what you do while you are at work.
- If you are required to travel between various sites or job sites, then in most cases if you are injured while commuting, you would be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Types of jobs that would require this type of commuting would be anything from landscaping to computer technician.
- If you were sent on a “special mission” to do something that was work-related and you were injured, it would be under the scope of your employment because you were given instructions and specific directions. This would include things like taking your boss’s dog out for a walk or picking up his dry-cleaning.
- If you travel for business and you are injured on a trip, then most likely you would be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, if you are traveling for a conference but the conference lasts only a couple of hours, the whole time that you spend in transit would probably be considered “work-related.”
Because you have to prove that your injury was work-related to be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits, you might need the help of a professional St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney to walk you through the complexities of defining how the coming and going laws apply to your individual case.
The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
We have been helping victims of workplace accidents recover compensation for over 20 years. If you have been injured at work call us to discuss your case.
You should be receiving treatment for ALL of your injuries, not just the ones the insurance company wants to accept. Do not let the carrier deny you benefits. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation case.