If your job involves driving and you sustain injuries due to a vehicle collision, you probably plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

But are you eligible to apply for benefits under the “going and coming” rule?

How the rule applies

If you suffer an injury related to work, it does not necessarily have to occur in your office or at the job site. For example, if you are injured while attending the office picnic at a local park, you have the right to apply for workers’ compensation benefits because the injury is work-related. However, if you sustain an injury while commuting to or from work, you should not expect coverage due to the “going and coming” rule. Basically, this is saying that your job begins when you arrive at your place of work and it ends when you leave and begin the commute home.

Exceptions to the rule

If you are driving between work sites you are exempt from the going and coming rule, whether you are in a company car or your own personal vehicle. If your job includes traveling, for instance as a truck driver or state trooper, you are not subject to the rule. If you are on a business trip, the entire time you spend away is usually considered work-related and the going and coming rule does not apply.

What to do

You may have questions with regard to the going and coming rule at some point in your working life. If you suffer an injury you believe is or could be work-related, remember to notify your employer within 21 days if you hope to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.