There are specific compensational responsibilities that employers have in regards to their employees being injured on the job. An employer should have insurance coverage for all the employees in the event of accidents or illness caused by work-related hazards. While most compensation claims are based on whether the injury occurred at the workplace, you may receive compensation even when the injuries did not happen on-site according to the ‘going and coming’ rule. The Workers Compensation Attorney Group in Orange County can help you receive benefits depending on the circumstances of your case.

What Is The ‘Going And Coming’ Rule?

The consistent application of the going and coming rule dwells mainly on work-related travel. Commuting to or from the workplace does not count as a work-related exercise where injuries are sustained. However, there are instances when an employee driving from a point to another may be considered as work-related.

This and other exceptions give the going and coming rule a fragile margin of error for which legal representation is an essential factor. Apart from injuries sustained by the employee, any work-related accident that occurs during transit where the worker is found negligent remains the responsibility of the employer.

What Constitutes a Workers' Compensation Claim Under the ‘Going and Coming’ Rule?

The law in California is such that occupational hazards that lead to injury-causing accidents are covered for benefits recovery by an employer on a worker's behalf. There are exemptions to which category of employees are covered by workers' compensation such as contractors and other third-party entities. An employee who discovers that an employer has failed to cover them under a worker's injury or illness related to their jobs can instigate a lawsuit against them.

Workers’ compensation is the fastest and less involving route laid down and having enabling qualities for benefits compensation, but also barring the claimant from employer litigation. This means that an injured worker who is involved in an accident while commuting while on an employer’s assignment cannot file both the compensation and a lawsuit against at the same time. Before this law was instituted, employees only had the option of suing their employers for benefits; But the current system guarantees coverage for medical and other cost recoveries.

There are however avenues available where an injured while a commuting employee can bring lawsuits to third-party negligent individuals or defective product manufacturers. Malfunctioned pieces of equipment that causes injuries sustained en-route on work assignments have lawsuits against the designers, sellers, and manufacturers where the going and coming rule is employable.

Requirements and Benefits for Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

There are vital aspects that a claimant and their employers need to observe while filing a workers’ compensation claim for injuries sustained on work-related travel. The benefits available for an injured employee will depend on how the filing is done, and deadlines met.

These important deadlines include:

  • A 30 day period in which to give a written notice regarding the work-related commuting injury to the employer.
  • A one-day limitation for the employer to furnish their injured worker with claim forms to initiate the compensation claim.
  • A one-year statute of limitations for any workers' compensation claims filing for a work-related injury sustained on the job while

There are benefits available for these injuries that a worker proves were the result of an accident along the way to and from an assignment on the employer’s time. These include but are not limited to:

  • Medical costs
  • Hospital service expenses
  • Visits by a physician or specialist
  • Equipment and other medical aids or machinery
  • Specialized procedures such as surgery, tests and imaging services

Benefits are also categorized regarding the extent of the injury and any resultant disabling characteristic that an employee may suffer. These benefits fall into;

Temporary Disability Payments:

These are emoluments for lost earnings that an employee accrues while they're recovering from the work-related commuting injury. The benefits under workers’ compensation where the going and coming rule allows are made as a two-thirds portion of pre-tax wages. Payment periods, however, do not exceed more than two years according to section 4650 of the California Workers' Compensation Act.

Permanent Disability Payments:

Where an injured while traveling worker does not recover sufficiently within the period of sick or annual unpaid leave, permanent disability payment is instituted. Workers’ compensation where the going and coming rule exceptions stand to qualify benefits regards section 4658 when paying damages for lasting physical and psychological disabling effects of a commuting accident.

Retraining or Reconditioning Payments:

An employee injured while traveling on work-related assignments and unable to return to the previous posting can be retrained using benefits for workers’ compensation. Section 4658 (7) underlines the manner of retraining that a recovered employee can undergo depending on their occupation niche and qualifications.

Death Benefits Payments:

These are paid on behalf of an employee who succumbs to injuries sustained on a work-related traveling excursion. Dependents of the bereaved worker who under the going and coming rule is due for recovery from the employer's compensation cover receive these payments.

The Employer’s Obligations Under Workers’ Compensation

Some obligations hold an employer liable to cover their workers with some exceptions under sections 3351 and 3700. An employer is required to give assistance to the injured commuter employee and provide the form to file a compensation claim. In some instances, the employer is required to authorize company medical facilities and provisions for which the worker is not obligated to accept.

A filed claim that returns no rejections within three calendar months is considered accepted, and cover should commence in less than three business days. Medical costs benefit usually amount up to 10,000 dollars for which the claim does not need to have been approved by the employer since injury treatment is required expediently. This is done within a day of receiving a completed form for the compensation claim that employs exceptions to the going and coming rule from the injured employee.

What are the Exceptions to the Going and Coming Rule?

Driving and other means of commuting are where the going and coming rule usually applies under the workers' compensation law of California. The rule bars mainly the claim based on commuting to and from work when an injury is sustained. Exceptions, however, are multiple, and a claimant is best equipped to handle this sensitive claim with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney. These exceptions allow workers who are injured in work-related commutes to claim for workers’ compensation or file lawsuits against the employer and third parties for damages recovery. They include;

  1. An Employee Who is Required to Provide Own Transport:

The required vehicle exception, for instance, delves into conditions where an employee uses their car for commuting to and from or between workstations. An exception of the type of vehicle needed under the going and coming rule may involve a farm hand having to travel between farms using their own conveyance. Where an injury happened when the worker was in such transit, and when their wages include the hours spent commuting, the employer becomes liable for the workers' compensation.

Arguments may exist regarding the provision of transportation means by the employer while a worker is on employment delegated duties. Service providers like delivery drivers and some rural varieties of occupations where there’s little or no public stand to benefit when commute in self-provided transport is not exempted for compensation by the going and coming rule.

These specifications are also fallible by the lack of sufficient evidence that a personal vehicle was pertinent to the performance of duties. Some commuting or driving of a work-related vehicle may also be deemed not necessarily work-related. A workers' compensation attorney, therefore, argues this exception with such references as to how the employer was benefiting from their employee use of own vehicles for commute when the injury was sustained.

  1. Injuries Sustained While Driving or Being Driven in a Company Car:

While the rule generally exempts personal vehicle driving where an employee sustains injuries, company-owned cars or trucks are a different matter. In California, the company owned car is deemed as being in the service of the employer while in transit from a point to another. Where the car or truck is emblazoned with company adverts delegated the vehicle as a moving marketing tool for the employer.

  1. Injuries Sustained Where Traveling is Part of Major Job Duties:

In industries such as commercial road or air transport, traveling is what the job details. Bus drivers or state police employees might have to start their shifts at their house doors. Exceptions here include driving a personal car to the station or port of call for pilots. The going and coming rule under workers’ compensation covers instances involving either the organizations' conveyances or work-related traveling assignments.

  1. Injury Sustained While Commuting Between Different Job Sites:

These exceptions detail where a company employee is using their own vehicles to travel from one work-related assignment to another at the time of sustaining injuries. A technician making a dash to the next appointment or a lawn engineer going to a client's home may be considered as work-related in California. Limited instances occur, where traveling from or to the work location such as your home can be covered by workers' compensation under the going and coming rule.

Versions of this rule in other states may only cover can injuries received on the employment site, but California employs the general rule for going and coming. This stretches to scenarios where there are workers who perform duties for the employer in remote locations from the main job site. A construction or online programming company may employ service people that have to commute to various work-related venues.

The coverage is available under the going and coming rule of the workers' compensation laws of California where injuries in other locations or on the road as a part of an employee's duties are compensated.

  1. Injuries Sustained By a Commercial Traveling Employee:

A business trip and all its various methods of commuting are contained within an employee's scope of responsibilities and duties. Company conference attendance for instance that may require the entire day will be logged as 8 or more hours of work. Any intermittent periods of traveling during this engagement will, therefore, be perceived as employment-related.

  1. Injuries Sustained While On a Special Mission or Errand:

Any performance of duties beyond the responsibility of an employee, from fetching coffee or traveling instead of an ill-taken colleague is a special mission. Injuries that may be sustained when doing an errand as a favor or extra for the employee constitutes for special mission considerations under the going and coming rule.

Such errands and especially those that involve going from one point to the next fall within the scope of service to the employer. A work-related activity such as a conference or retreat on the employer's funding is a special mission and travel which results in injury is provided under the going and coming rule. This covers the duration of starting and finishing the errand or the time of abandoning it for reasons to do with the injury.

If a claimant applies the special mission exception under the going and coming rule of workers’ compensation, viable defenses from an employer do exist. Specific facts that attach the special errand capacity are usually flimsy while lacking material proof. Since an employer will not need written or recorded orders to ask their workers to do something out of routine, many claimants miss opportunities under the special errand exception.

A worker who is at a level of authority cannot prove that they were on any specifically special errand since their normal duties are littered with those. This instance can bolster the employer's defense due to a workers’ compensation attorney who does not show that the business or employment benefited by the workers going out of their way when they sustained an injury.

  1. Injury Sustained While Under Employer’s Control During Travel:

The going and coming exception for an employee whose commute to and from work are controlled to a certain degree by the employer. An emergency responder who is still in uniform while driving home is required to provide any assistance in the event of an accident along the way. In the same manner, a police officer who leaves their house in full work regalia can combat crime at any point of their commute whether their hours of duty had commenced or not.

Injuries sustained in these instances will be the employer’s liability as an exception under the going and coming rule of workers' compensation.

  1. Injuries Sustained When an Employer Pays for Commute Time:

Respondeat superior establishment may find that injuries sustained where an employer is paying the time used to commute deemed as employment time for the worker. Compensation is based on time however and not expenses since injury covered under such exceptions deal with reasons for commute and benefits to the employer. When the employer is paying a workers expense for commute versus time, the going and coming rule exempts injuries or any negligence from the exception.

  1. Foreseeable Instances Which Result in Work-Related Commuting Injuries:

Activities that involve work-related commuting where there is a foreseeable accident causing factors is a substantial exception under the going and coming rule. This exempts from compensation where an injury may occur resulting in an accident caused by an employee who had drunk too much at an office party. Another exemption occurs when an employee is dismissed from work and suffers an injury on the commute home.

Respondeat Superior and the ‘Going and Coming’ Rule for Workers' Compensation

The specific facts that surround each scenario in which an accident causes the injury of a traveling employee are used to determine the exceptions that will either or not apply to the going and coming rule. A grey area exists which requires the adept interpretation of legal practitioners who are well versed in workers' compensation laws of California. This dependency on case specifics encourages relations with Respondeat superior procedures and similar uses in litigation for workers' compensation.

Arguments and applications of nuances usually are stretched and tested to limits that produce new patterns of factual establishments. Additional compensation from potential sources of coverage arises from these exceptions to create an appropriate resolution or litigation strategies. This liberal view of what constitutes the scope and course of a worker's duties while under the employment afford them more protection in California.

The restrictive nature of Respondeat superior scope of purposeful work-related commute makes the coming and going rule a significant outlet to develop authority towards compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Affected by The ‘Going and Coming’ Rule

At California state level, the workers' compensation laws are set with mainline regard to federal legislation. Workers are entitled to benefits collection for injuries that they sustain while on the commute for work related assignments. There must be a determined direct relationship between the injury causing an accident and the employee's work responsibilities, whether on or off the site of employment.

For workers’ compensation claims that revolve around the going and coming rule, the negligence of the employer is a non-issue in regards to their benefits provision responsibilities. In the same seam to the no-fault system that California employs for workers' compensation, going and coming rule claimants are not disqualified based on their negligence.

The workers' compensation process is also affected by the arguments on the going and coming rule that exempt suffering injury while commuting to or from work. The relationship for duty or employer-related task being performed while traveling home or to an employment site can be seen as a component to the job that's necessary. This, however, is not what the workers' compensation using the going and coming rule was instituted for.

What to Do If Injured On a Job-Related Commute

Medical attention for injuries sustained while traveling for employment-related activities is initially required. The injured worker can choose to accept the company provided medical services such as physicians or chose their own alternatives. These doctors must, however, be compliant with the workers' compensation Board's Specifications for practicing physicians. There should be no undue pressure from the employee for the worker to opt for company services whatsoever.

After the claim form submission deadlines have been met with the employer’s assistance or through the workers' compensation board’s online portals, the initial medical costs are settled to the tune of 10,000 dollars. The administration of this medical treatment expenses must be done within a day of the employer receiving a complete claim form from the injured worker.

What to do if a Workers' Compensation Claim is Denied

When a workers’ compensation claim which relies on exceptions to the going and coming rule is rejected, the claimant now has the option for litigation under California civil laws. A workers’ compensation attorney assists workers who are injured while commuting for their employers to file the application for adjudication of the claim.

These procedures require the correct notices and documentation where a competent workers’ compensation attorney seeks to build a convincing going and coming rule exception argument. There is a declaration of readiness to proceed while notifying the relevant parties to the suit. A schedule for mandatory settlement is released by the court which deliberates on evidence provided by the plaintiff.

A settlement conference that fails to settle the damages recovery dispute for a commuting accident victim who sustains injuries leaves the door open for trial. The preparation phase for the lawsuit trial involves the identification of material and testimonial evidence, names of witnesses and other petitions pertinent to the litigation procedures.

A workers’ compensation attorney who has established court litigation experience will prepare the appropriate filing, documents and meet the deadlines that trial courts take very seriously. Representation before judge or jury and the negotiations that may occur with the defense is the workers' compensation lawyer's cup of tea. If the trial court does not approve compensation, the claiming plaintiff files a petition for reconsideration.

Contact A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Near Me

Commuting injuries received in an accident that happens while a worker is traveling to and from work are limited for compensation recovery. The use of personal vehicles and other transport may be work-related if it is established that the travel had beneficial qualities to the employer. You can contact The Workers Compensation Attorney in Orange County at 562-485-9694 to help you seek compensation under the ‘going and coming’ rule.