Can I get workers compensation if I am in a car accident on my way to work?
As a general rule, an employee who is going to or coming from work is generally not considered to be engaged in performing any service growing out of or incidental to employment, and therefore, an injury sustained going to or from work does not generally fall under the Workers’ Compensation Act. This is called the “going and coming rule.”
Just like with any rule, there are exceptions. Five exceptions have been recognized in South Carolina. They are:
1. Transportation is provided by the employer
Where, in going to and returning from work, the means of transportation is provided by the employer, or the
time that is consumed is paid for or included in the wages;
2. The employee is in the process of completing some duty or task of the employer.
Where the employee, on his way to or from his work, is still charged with some duty or task in connection
with his employment;
3. The way in or out of work is inherently dangerous or maintained by the employer
The way used is inherently dangerous and is either
(a) the exclusive way of ingress and egress to and from his work; or
(b) constructed and maintained by the employer;
4. You are close to your job site
If an injury happens in the course of your travel to your place of work and not on the premises of your
employer but in close proximity thereto is not compensable unless the place of injury was brought within the
scope of employment by an express or implied requirement in the contract of employment of its use by you in
going to and coming from your work. This exception in most often applied when someone is hurt in the parking
lot of the employer before or after a work shift.
5. While running a errand for the employer during non work hours
A fifth exception allows compensation where an employee sustains an injury while performing a special task,
service, mission, or errand for his employer, even before or after customary working hours, or on a day on
which he does not ordinarily work.
Injuries that fall within one of the exceptions to the “goings and comings” rule are typically denied by the workers’ compensation insurance carriers. Often adjusters do not understand these exceptions.
Knowing if your accident fits into one of the exceptions to the going and coming rule can be difficult to understand. If you would like to speak with a lawyer regarding the possibility of compensation for your accident under the Workers’ Compensation Act, please call Venus Poe at 864-963-0310.
The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should not read this article to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which you may have a case.