Workers’ compensation programs provide financial benefits to people who suffer injuries in on-the-job accidents or develop work-related illnesses. An Illinois worker’s injuries are considered job-related when they are suffered during the course of their employment. This means that people who are involved in motor vehicle accidents while they are traveling to or from their workplaces are not usually entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is known as the coming and going rule. This rule also applies when workers are injured while engaged in non-work-related activities like running errands.
Exceptions to the coming and going rule
There are several exceptions to the workers’ compensation coming and going rule. Employees who have jobs that require them to be on call are covered by workers’ compensation programs as soon as they are summoned, and those who are injured while travelling for business purposes are usually entitled to benefits even when they are off the clock. Traveling workers like outside salespeople and visiting nurses are not subject to the coming and going rule, and neither are employees who must travel through dangerous areas like construction zones to reach their workplaces.
Assessing coming and going workers’ compensation claims
When insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage determine whether or not the coming and going rule should apply, they usually consider the following questions:
• What was the nature of the journey the worker was taking?
• What kind of job does the worker have?
• Was the car that crashed a business or personal vehicle?
• Did the accident take place while the worker was on the clock?
• Did the accident take place in a hazardous area?
• Is the injured worker an on-call employee?
• Was the employee on a business trip when they were injured?
Coming and going
Employees who are injured while they are commuting to or from work are not usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but there are exceptions to the coming and going rule. On-call workers and employees on business trips are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and so are workers who travel during the regular course of their employment or have to drive through hazardous areas during their commutes.