When you go to work and get into an accident, you may wonder if you are eligible for a worker's compensation claim. In general, most states have a coming and going rule. This rule states that anyone commuting to work while not on the clock will not be covered by worker's compensation benefits.
However, there can be some exceptions to the coming and going rule that you should be aware of. The following is some information about commuting and worker's compensation:
When Does the Coming and Going Rule Not Impact Worker's Compensation?
There could be some times in which the coming and going rule will not exclude the employee from getting worker's compensation benefits. If you are commuting to a location for the purpose of doing a job and get into an accident while driving, you may be able to make a claim.
For instance, if your job requires you to travel to multiple locations to perform a function and you get into an accident on your way to that location, you may be able to make a worker's compensation claim. That is because, although you were not on your employee's premises, you suffered an injury in the scope of performing your duties. You just happened to be in your vehicle at the time.
What Are the Next Steps After an Accident?
If you are injured while commuting and you feel like you are owed worker's compensation benefits, you will need to file an incident report with your employer. You should do this whether or not you are certain that your injuries will be covered. The carrier of the worker's compensation insurance will evaluate the claim and make a determination on if your incident will qualify for benefits. Keep in mind that there is a time limit to file a report, so be sure to do so as quickly as you can.
What Happens if the Claim is Denied?
If your worker's compensation claim is denied and you believe that to be incorrect, there are a few things you can do. The first thing to do is make sure your employer actually contacted the insurer with your claim information. Some employers attempt to stonewall worker's compensation claims to avoid paying them. Should this be your case, you can contact the insurer yourself.
After you have made contact with the insurance carrier, you should hire a worker's compensation attorney. They will go through the claims process with you so that you will know what to expect. They can also work with your employer to encourage them to follow through with your claims. Should your claim be denied, your attorney will help you through the appeals process so that you can obtain your claim.