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Workers’ compensation and your daily drive

Fall is here, and winter is fast approaching. While everyone under the age of about 6 loves rainy days and snowy days, commuters have reason to dread this time of year. Slick and icy roads make for hazardous driving conditions, and accidents can turn commutes already laden with traffic into stop-and-go horror shows.

Car accidents are frightening and potentially deadly occurrences. At absolute best, they leave a driver shaken up. At worst they lead to permanent injuries or death. They can happen to even the best drivers. And expenses from a car accident can really mount up.

Depending on how much insurance covers, an accident victim may face expensive car repair and medical bills. If you were injured on the clock, however, workers’ compensation may pick up a good portion of the tab.

If you are required to drive from place to place as part of your normal workday, or if you are traveling by car while on a business trip for business purposes, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation if you are in an accident.

Say, for example, you are leaving the office and headed out to meet with a client at her place of business. Another driver fails to see a stop sign and smashes into your car. Your injuries, fortunately, are not serious but they do require treatment. There is a high likelihood that workers’ compensation would kick in and help pay for treatment and for any time off required for healing.

As a general rule, you are not considered “on the clock” during your commute. There are, naturally enough, exceptions to this rule. If, for example, your supervisor has requested that you run a work-related errand on your way home, and you’re injured in a car accident on the way, you may very well be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance only when you are physically present on company property. There are many situations, however, such as your daily drive to or from work, where you may also be eligible for receive workers’ compensation in the event of injury.