Accidents and injuries are very prevalent during travel. In fact, transportation accidents are some of the most common types of work-related accidents. A worker that is injured while traveling for work could be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Not all types of travel, however, qualify. If you are injured while traveling for work, you should speak to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney about the specifics of your case. In Atlanta, whether or not an employer is required to pay workers’ compensation for injuries sustained during travel, depends on the Georgia ‘Coming and Going’ rule.
The ‘Coming and Going’ Rule in GeorgiaAn employer is typically not responsible for accidents that occur when an employee is traveling to and from work during their daily commute. This is because daily commutes generally fall under the ‘coming and going’ rule. The rule absolves the employer of responsibility for an employee who is injured while commuting to and from a fixed place of employment. Once the employee is on the employer’s premises, the rule ends and any injuries that occur in the workplace premises would be covered by Georgia workers’ compensation. There are, however, many exceptions to the ‘coming and going’ rule where a worker could be injured and qualify for workers’ compensation. Exceptions are usually given for travel that is done primarily for the benefit of the employer and if it is closely related to job duties. Some of the most common exceptions include:
- A worker who has no fixed place of employment and travels to multiple work sites. A pharmaceutical salesperson, for example, who must go from hospital-to-hospital with no fixed job site would likely be awarded workers’ compensation if they were injured on the way to one of the hospitals.
- When an employee travels to a location that is not their normal job site. When a worker who normally goes to the office takes business trip, their travel would typically be an exception to the ‘coming and going’ rule because they would be acting within the scope of their employment throughout the trip.
- Traveling for special assignments on behalf of the employer. Although commuting between the office and home would typically not be covered, if the employee is completing special tasks assigned by the employer, the travel would be considered eligible for workers’ compensation if the employee was injured.
- A significant portion of the employee’s job duties involve travel. When a worker’s job involves traveling or running errands as part of regular duties, the ‘coming and going’ rule does not apply.