Is My Car Accident Case or Slip and Fall A Workers' Comp Case Too?
It could be. One of the first considerations is whether you were "on the clock" at the time of the accident. Accidents that occur on your way to work or heading back home are normally not covered by workers' compensation insurance. This is called the "going and coming" rule. There are several exceptions to this rule though. If your employer asks you to run a special errand on your way to work or back home, this could be covered. For example, your employer asks you to stop at the bank on your way home from work and you are involved in a crash before you get there. Even if you were not on the clock, this special errand can make your accident a workers' comp accident too.
Another exception to the "going and coming" rule occurs when you are on the employer's premises. Even if you haven't started work for the day, if you trip and fall in a parking lot that is owned and controlled by your employer, you have a workers' comp claim too.
Sometimes the "going and coming" rule doesn't apply because of the nature of the job that you're involved in. Many jobs require work outside an office, and workers don't report to the employer's premises before starting the job. Some occupations that fit in this category are insurance adjusters, traveling salespeople, and attorneys. These people are on-duty and covered by workers' comp as they head from their homes to their first appointment of the day.
Other occupations are covered by workers' comp insurance at times that you may not initially think would be covered. For example, if you're a flight attendant on a layover staying in a hotel, you can be covered by workers' comp. This is true even if you get into a car accident leaving your hotel on your way to dinner. If your deviation from normal employment duties and attending to your own personal comfort becomes too great, you probably aren't covered by workers' comp. So if that same flight attendant doesn't go to dinner, but heads to a ski lodge 50 miles from the airport and during the side trip breaks her leg skiing, this likely isn't covered.
Knowing whether a particular accident is covered by workers' compensation insurance is not always an easy determination. Many adjusters don't know the intricacies of the workers' comp law and whether your accident should be accepted as compensable. It costs you nothing other than a few minutes of your time to contact an attorney at The Trial Professionals to determine what type of cases you might have.