Most Virginia workers are aware that their rights entitle them to financial support if they are hurt at work. But what happens if your injuries happened away from work?
Well, that depends. According to the “Going and Coming Rule,” you may be eligible for compensation under the following circumstances:
If you were traveling to or from work
The most common application of the Coming and Going Rule is the traveling employee. Workers whose jobs involve traveling (like truckers, delivery drivers or general contractors) are often eligible for workers’ compensation if they sustain injuries while on the road. This exception also applies to employees hurt while traveling from their traditional workstation to another site at the instruction of the employer.
Workers on special missions
Workers who sustain injuries while on a special errand under the instruction of the employer may also be entitled to workers’ compensation. An example of this would be a situation where the employer asks you to stop by the stationery shop to pick up office supplies on your way to or from work.
While you are technically commuting, you are also performing a work-related task at your employer’s direction. However, for this rule to apply, the Workers’ Compensation Board must be satisfied that the errand in question was reasonable or work-related.
Workers traveling in a company car
You may also be eligible for compensation if you are legally traveling in a vehicle marked with your employer’s logo. However, to be compensated under such circumstances, you may need to have been traveling in the vehicle with the full knowledge and approval of your employer.
A work-related injury can happen when you least expect it. You may need to find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.