Workers' Compensation: 2 Rules That Govern Insurance Claims

Workers' compensation law is in place to protect employees who are injured at work. Falls in the work premises, loss of hearing from working in a noisy office or developing a disease due to exposure to hazardous chemicals in your line of work are all injuries that can be compensated under workers' compensation insurance. If you are planning to file a claim against your employer for a work-related injury, it is advisable to hire an experienced lawyer, especially if your employer's insurance carrier intends to challenge the claim.

There are many rules that govern compensation for injured workers, including the 'premises' rule and the 'coming and going' rule. Here is a look at these two rules in detail.

The 'coming and going' rule

This rule states that injuries sustained during your daily commute to and from work are not covered by workers' compensation insurance. However, there are certain special circumstances that can enable you to collect benefits for injuries acquired while traveling in the course of your work.

If your job requires you to visit multiple job sites using your personal vehicle, or if you work from multiple job sites each day, you may be eligible for compensation if you get injured en route to one of your job sites. You may also be eligible for benefits if you get injured during your normal commute to or from work where you are running an errand for your employer.

For some employees, such as bus drivers, pilots, sales personnel and truck drivers, traveling is a fundamental part of their job. This means that the 'coming and going' rule does not apply for injuries resulting from their daily commutes.

Other compensable injuries may include those acquired while away on a business trip, as it is assumed that you were acting in the scope of your job the whole time you were away on business.

The 'premises' rule

This rule states that employees who get injured in their work surroundings - including office parking lots, walkways or pavements - should be compensated by their employees since they are typically already at work.  Employers who are leasing office space are not absolved from paying out benefits to injured workers in the office surroundings, as they are assumed to be taking control of those areas and therefore responsible for their workers' safety even if they do not own the building.

These two rules can help you determine whether you are eligible for compensation for injuries acquired as you commute to and from work or while entering the work premises. Contact a workers compensation lawyer for more information or assistance with your case.