Exceptions To The Going-And-Coming Rule In California Workers’ Compensation

Exceptions To The Going-And-Coming Rule in California Workers' Compensation

Is Coming And Going To Or From Work Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Employers are required to provide workers compensation insurance to help employees who are injured on the job recover from work related injuries. But are employers required to provide workers compensation insurance benefits to employees who are injured while going to and coming from work? And that’s the discussion that Jorge and I are having on this episode of the Inland Empire workers compensation lawyer livestream podcast, the Going-And-Coming Rule. So be sure to stick around and learn the ins and outs of this topic, because it’s not so simple. So, Jorge, are employers required to provide workers compensation insurance benefits for employees who are going to and coming from work?

A Regular Commute Is Not Covered By Workers’ Comp

Well, that’s a great question, Alex, the general answer is no. Right? All of us commute to work every day. It depends on what type of work you do, but we’re on the freeways. That’s why they’re so congested, we’re trying to get to work and trying to get back home. And during those times, we find ourselves in traffic. However, although employers are not necessarily liable for this time of your day, your commute to work to and from work. There are exceptions to that to that situation. So we’re going to talk about these exceptions today. And I’m sure that our audience, our listeners, and our viewers are going to have a lot of questions once again, always, if you have a question on something that we’ve discussed, please be sure to contact us. We’re always willing to go further on this subject. It’s a very nuanced subject, as you mentioned, Alex. So what are these exceptions? Injuries don’t always happen at the actual workplace at their place of business, or maybe even your main office, you could be out on site, depending on what type of work you do. That’s an injury. That’s a workplace injury as well. But what about if your community to that off off site job site? Or what if you’re just driving your car or company vehicle, all these questions are really good.

Every Case Is Different, Contact A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer For Advice

But if you have a place of employment that you go every single day, right, and you’re just going there, you’re driving your car to that point, or taking the bus or riding the bike or out carpooling, however you’re getting to that place that you go every single day at your place of work. That’s not covered by workers compensation, generally speaking, unless there’s some other facts involved. And that’s why the discussions that we have here are general in nature only if you need legal advice, dial our Injury Helpline at 844-984-8414 and get legal advice. But anyway, getting back to the subject, Jorge, if you’re going to and coming from work it’s generally not covered, right, generally not covered.

The Going-And-Coming Rule And Errands

And let’s use this example, what if you are an office worker at a construction company, you’re not on site, you’re not on the construction projects, but you might visit them every once in a while, of course, now, if you’re traveling to the general construction companies, place of business their office as if you will, they’re where they actually have their office, and it’s not a mobile office, and you’re driving there, and you get into an accident, generally considered not workers compensation, that’s the Going-And-Coming rule. However, there are exceptions to this. And we’re gonna stick with this example, because it’s a very good one, if you are called by your boss in the middle of nights, and he tells you, listen, we have a job site that needs nails, or they need supplies, they need equipment, I need you to pick them up in the morning and take them to that job site. Now the situation has changed. You are no longer just traveling to work to your place of business to that office, you are picking a supplies, you’re on an errand, right? And what do we call that? That that’s in legal terms, a special mission, right. And I’m going to do a little sidebar right now. And we provide the example of supplies for work, but doesn’t just have to be that if your boss sends you on maybe a food run, if your boss sends you on a coffee run, if your boss asked you to pick up his his or her dry cleaning, things like that, that you’re asked to do by your employer, if you’re out on one of those special missions, and you get injured and that would be considered workers compensation, right? So if you’re doing a special errand as part of the commute or something out of the ordinary, it’s not just going to and coming from work you’re doing something for your boss or it could be ordinary, right? It’s something you do a lot like getting coffee every morning. Your boss sends you says go get coffee for me before you come in. And you’re going to get that coffee and you’re in an accident that could be a special they call it special mission special mission and I was gonna say special aired but it’s an errand special errands, special mission. Same thing. But listen, if your job if your boss asked you to walk their dog, and you leave your place of business, and you’re maybe two blocks away walking the dog and you get injured, maybe you get ran over or you trip you fall or maybe the dog gets away and you try to chase it and once again you fall that is a workers compensation injury. You weren’t doing a normal task for work. You weren’t at your place of business. Yet you got injured doing something that your boss specifically asked you to do. It was a special mission. Right, so even if you were coming back to your job site, this is The Going-And-Coming rule people. So even if you’re coming back to the job site coming back to work, that’s not part of a commute. Commuting is not generally considered workers compensation. But if you’re doing something for your boss, like walking their dog, or something like that.

Company Vehicle Exception To The Going-And-Coming Rule

Right, so that’s the, that’s the first exception, I think it’s a good one, we’re gonna stick with the same example working at a construction company, right? So what if you are working at a construction company, you again work at the office, but you have a company vehicle, and you’re not doing anything extra, you’re just going to and coming from from work, but your company vehicles wrapped in the business logos, special wrap. So now that could be considered a walking, driving mobile advertisement, right. So now you’re taking that car all over the place, even if you go to 7-11 at 7pm on a Thursday night, and you get in an accident, you can still make the case that you had the company car, you use it even after hours, and you’re allowed to. Now, if your contract specifically states that you can only use it during business hours and going and coming from work, we might have issues there. Once again, contact us. Every case is specific, every case is different. But generally speaking, if you drive a company vehicle, and you get in an accident, that could be considered workers compensation,

An Example of Frolics and Detours in Workers’ Compensation

Yeah, even if it’s on a commute, you’re driving a company vehicle you’re in that car, it’s likely that it’s going to be covered by workers compensation insurance, if it’s your own car, though, and you’re on the commute, and you’re not on a special mission. And you’re not on a frolic, which is something that Jorge brought up. This is a frolic is like when you go off course of your employment so much, it’s like almost unforeseeable, that you’d be in a certain place at a certain time. Like, for example, if you have to go deliver something for your employer, let’s say you’re a delivery driver, but you decide to drive the truck to Nevada to go to Vegas to start playing craps or something. And you’re in an automobile accident while you’re there. And technically, you’re on the clock, and you’re just stopping by. But you took a detour, that detour is probably a frolic. But there are smaller detours that will, you know, potentially not qualify for being a frolic and will still fall into this exception to Going-And-Coming rule like, you know, if you’re traveling home and you get off, you know, you’re in the company car and you get off the road to get a coffee or something. And then while you’re getting back on the freeway, well, you are getting coffee for yourself, but you were not really outside the scope. Correct?

The Going-And-Coming Rule Regarding Multiple Business Locations

Yeah, and you’re talking about also, that falls into the type of employees like, you know, IT departments and they have different locations, and they have to maybe travel to those locations. So maybe on the commute to those different locations, during the hours of work. Those you know, even if they stopped to get a coffee or something while they’re traveling to different locations, they’re still on the clock, right? You know, they’re still working. So even though it’s not the place of business, even though they haven’t gotten to the place where they’re going to be performing the job, the task that they have to perform, if they get hurt on the way, that would also be another exception. And that’s called traveling to multiple job sites. Yeah, just you’re traveling from one job site to another, right, you’re traveling to a remote job site from your home, that’s not your general place of work, then those are all going to be your employers putting you out into the world, requiring you to go do something other than just come to your normal place of work, that’s probably going to qualify you for workers compensation benefits, as an exception to this going-and-coming rule which basically the going-and-coming rule means like, Hey, you don’t get workers comp while you’re going to and coming from work, right. But what it really means you don’t get workers comp when you’re simply commuting to and commuting home from work. And there’s more, you know, we just don’t have the time. But if people have a certain situation that they’ve encountered, maybe they got injured, and they don’t know whether it falls into these exceptions, please give us a call. I mean, that’s what we’re here for. Sometimes you’re required to travel for work. So what if your company sends you for a convention in Chicago or convention in Seattle, right, and you’re there for the convention, and maybe your your convention is only 8:30 to 5pm. But you get hurt at 7pm doing some other non work related tasks, while the commercial traveler is actually covered throughout their whole trip. They were out there for a trip, even though they’re not doing business duties, or they’re not performing tasks for their employer. They’re out there because of their employer. And if they get hurt on their business trip, it’s going to be covered under workers compensation.

Schedule A Free Consultation with Inland Empire Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

You’re out there. You’re listening to the Inland Empire workers compensation lawyer livestream podcast because you have questions you’ve been injured at work, you are getting some insight into what the issues are. And that if you’re a commuter, if you’re on a commercial travel or for your business, it’s probably going to be covered. It’s going to be pretty broad. Jorge, are there any other exceptions to going-and-coming rule that our viewers should understand before they give us a call? Those are the main ones. There are our other ones, but I think that we’ve covered the topic prior. Well, these are the main five we went over commercial traveler, special mission, errand, commuting in a company car, even if you’re just commuting and traveling to multiple job sites and then travel as a major part of your job and considered a job duty. So if you are traveling generally for work, then of course, it’s going to be covered, right. So if you have any of those situations and you want to apply for workers compensation insurance or you have and you are concerned that your claim will be denied, remember 90 days to accept or deny your claim. So if you filed this claim, go ahead and check out our video on the 90 day period and what that means for your claim. I will put a link right up here for you and if you have questions again, dial the Injury Helpline 844-984-8414 or visit our website www.workercomplawyerie.com.