When Does a Transportation Accident Qualify for Work Comp?

Rispoli & Borneo P.C.

Generally speaking, any accident that relates directly to your job and subjects you to injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, what you might consider being a work-related accident may not match the law’s definition. Transportation is an area in which there is sometimes ambiguity and confusion, but there are basic rules that several states use to clear those up. That is why it is important for you to reach out to the law firm Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, PC to speak with their workers compensation attorney Brooklyn relies on.

Dual Purpose Doctrine

If a trip is made for both personal and business reasons, the dual-purpose doctrine applies to determine whether the primary purpose was work-related or personal. If the trip would have been made regardless of personal purpose, it is considered a business trip. Any injury that occurred during such a trip would be considered to be within the course of employment and therefore compensable. On the other hand, if the business purpose was secondary to the personal reason for the trip, and the personal trip would have been taken anyway, the injury is unlikely to be compensated because it is considered to be outside the course of employment.

Special Errand Rule

If your employer asks you to run an errand that furthers his or her business purpose, an injury that you sustain during this errand is typically considered to be within the course of your employment. Unfortunately, however, if your boss asks you to perform a personal errand that does not further his or her business purpose, this is not considered within the scope of employment. In other words, you should refuse such an errand, or at least ask why the employer is asking it of you because any injury you sustain is not compensable despite the fact that you were acting according to your boss’ instructions.

Going and Coming Rule

When you are traveling for a work-related purpose, such as running an errand for your boss or going on a business trip out of town, injuries that you sustain during the trip are usually considered to occur in the course of employment, meaning that you can claim compensation. However, according to the going and coming rule, merely commuting to and from work is not included in work-related travel. Therefore, if you are injured in an accident while going to work or coming home, you cannot claim workers’ compensation. There is a seemingly logical argument to make that you would not have had the accident if not for your job, but the going and coming rule negates that argument in most cases.

Contact the office of Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, PC if you have any questions about whether a transportation accident qualifies for workers’ compensation. One of our attorneys can explain what you have the right to claim.