Seeking Compensation for Injuries Incurred While Traveling for Work in the Central Valley
Understanding what the “coming and going rule” means to you
Until recently, injured employees were denied workers’ compensation benefits if their injuries occurred during a commute, or while “coming and going” to work. In the last few years, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board has expanded the guidelines, giving hope to thousands of injured workers in California. At Perez, Williams, Medina & Rodriguez, LLP, we have extensive experience arguing and winning these types of cases, and we can help you.
What is the “coming and going rule”?
Some workers live at the jobsite or work at home, but most workers commute from their homes to their places of business. In most cases, they use a personal vehicle or public transportation. California law codifies the coming and going rule in Section 3724 of the California Civil Jury Instructions. The coming and going rule was originally a broad exception that greatly favored employers, under the theory that the employer obtained no direct benefit from the commute and therefore should not be expected to compensate for injuries.
What are some practical exceptions?
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board now recognizes a number of exceptions to the coming and going rule and more fully protects the rights of injured workers, because there are many situations when the employer does receive a direct benefit from an employee’s commute:
- There is no set jobsite. Traveling salespeople are always on the road, a regional manager supervises multiple jobsites, and a real estate agent is rarely in the office.
- The employment contract includes transportation to and from work. Many jobs include a company car or perhaps even a transportation pass, which may result in workers’ compensation coverage for the employee.
- The employee is on special assignment from the employer. A special assignment could include filing a document in court, taking cash deposits to the bank, verifying that a house is occupied or unoccupied, and similar tasks.
- The employer compensates the employee for travel time. If an employee is compensated for travel time in either wages and salary or compensation for gasoline and other expenses, benefits may be available.
- Special circumstances that warrant an exception. The law provides a catch-all that includes any injury occurring in close connection with the employee’s job.
If your attorney at Perez, Williams, Medina & Rodriguez, LLP can prove that any of these exceptions applies to your case, you may be eligible to receive benefits for an injury that occurred during your daily commute.
Schedule your consultation with experienced Fresno attorneys who care about you
At Perez, Williams, Medina and Rodriguez, LLP, our attorneys work hard on your case, and we also take the time to listen to you and give you frequent updates about your case’s progress. Contact our Fresno personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm at 559-445-0123 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We serve clients throughout the Central Valley, including Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Merced and Kings Counties. We speak English and Spanish.
NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.