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I was hurt on my way to work. Do I qualify for workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

From warehouse work to construction and office work, every occupation has its share of hazards. This explains why most employers are required to invest in workers’ compensation insurance to provide financial restitution to employees who are hurt while at work. But what happens if you sustain injuries away from your place of work?

It is not unusual for an employee to be hurt on their way to or from work. If this happens, you might be curious about whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation for resulting economic and non-economic losses.

Understanding California’s coming-and-going rule

California’s going-and-coming rule clarifies what happens if you sustain injuries away from your official place of work. Per this rule, injuries that you sustain outside of your place of work may only be eligible for workers’ comp under specific circumstances.

For your work-related injuries to be eligible for compensation, they must happen within the course and scope of your employment. In other words, your injuries must arise from your work, and this is not to say that they must “happen at work.”

Here are the conditions that you must meet to qualify for workers’ compensation for injuries that you sustain away from your official workplace:

  • The injuries happened while you were performing work-specific tasks
  • The injuries happened while you were performing employer-sanctioned tasks
  • The injuries happened at a secondary workstation, like another branch of your employer’s operation
  • The injuries happened during the employer-approved work hours as indicated in your employment contract

If your away-from-work injuries meet any of these conditions, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits provided that you take the right steps. First, you must report your injuries to your employer in time. Next, you must seek treatment as soon as possible. And finally, you must file your workers’ comp within the statute of limitations period.