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Does Workers’ Comp Count the Drive to and From Work?

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When most people think of workplace injuries, they think of injuries that occur due to slip and falls, tool mishaps, lacerations, and other incidents that happen at a job site. However, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of workplace injuries.

But what about the drive to and from work? Are employees entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they get into an accident during their commute?

The answer to these questions can be complicated, and whether or not a worker is entitled to compensation depends on various factors related to the particular situation.

Will Workers’ Compensation Cover a Vehicle Accident Injury?

The first question that many people ask is whether or not California workers’ compensation will cover car accident injuries at all. The answer is, yes, if a worker sustains a car accident injury, they may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, in order for a California worker to be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, their injury has to have occurred while they were performing duties defined within the scope of their employment. In some cases, an employee is required to operate a motor vehicle. If they get into an accident and are injured while working, they should be entitled to coverage.

Will a Commute To and From Work Be Covered?

In general, the answer as to whether or not workers’ compensation benefits are available for an injury that occurs during a worker’s commute is no, they will not be covered. An employee’s commute is generally not considered part of their workplace duties. However, there are some instances in which a worker may receive coverage in these instances. This could include:

  • If the worker is on duty during their commute. This often occurs with police officers who are provided take-home cars and may or may not actually report to an office at the beginning of their duty shift.
  • If the worker is in a company car during their commute. This will vary based on the policy of the employer. Sometimes employer-owned cars are designated for personal use after work hours, and a commute will not be considered on-duty time.
  • If an employee is asked to conduct work-related activities during their commute to or from work. For example, if a supervisor calls and asks an employee to run some errands on the way into their job are on the way home, this will likely now be considered work time. If an accident occurs while the employee is performing these work duties, they should be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries they sustain.

What Can an Injured Worker Do?

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury during your commute to or from work, you may wonder if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may need to speak to a skilled Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer about your case to ensure that you are being treated fairly. At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo today, we have extensive experience handling every type of work injury case. We pledge to investigate your case in order to secure the compensation you need. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling (714) 783-2205.

Covid 19 Update: We are accepting new cases and we handle everything electronically and remotely, so our clients never have to leave their homes.