New Jersey highways fill with drivers going to and from work every morning and evening. As you know, your employer is responsible for providing a safe workplace. In most cases, an employer isn’t responsible for what happens on your commute to work. However, a business isn’t always exempt from being liable for vehicle accidents involving employees.
The coming and going rule
The coming-and-going rule provides an exemption to employers when their employees get injured outside of work. If you got into an accident while driving to work, you would likely not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The same rule applies to your drive home after leaving work.
For delivery workers, traveling salespeople and truckers, however, driving is a significant part of their jobs. Due to the nature of their work, these employees rarely spend their days in offices. Instead, they must travel to patients, customers and companies. In these cases, injured drivers have a better chance of obtaining workers’ compensation while commuting.
Driving company vehicles
Another complex situation involving commuting and workers’ compensation involves company vehicles. When an employee drives to or from work in a company automobile, an employer can be responsible for providing workers’ comp. But that wouldn’t be the case if this employee drove a company vehicle for personal errands like grocery shopping. The same errand performed for work-related purposes could make the employer liable to provide workers’ compensation coverage if an accident occurred while this was happening. When in doubt, a worker who is injured in these types of situations should be prepared to file a claim.