If you are familiar with workers’ compensation, you have likely been surprised at least once by how many types of injuries or circumstances are covered by workers’ compensation. Being injured at a skating rink during a company party could qualify you for workers’ compensation, for example. Generally speaking, any injury suffered during job-related activities or on behalf of your job is compensable. However, this is not the case for commuting.

Imagine you wake up on Monday morning, ready to start the week. You get dressed, hop in your car and on the way to your place of work, you get into a car accident. Because your commute was a necessary function of your job, you could be covered by workers’ compensation for suffering a job-related injury, right? Wrong.

The going and coming rule establishes that a commute is not necessarily job-related, and you will likely be unable to recover compensation for any injuries suffered while on a commute. However, if you are required to drive to many different locations during your shift as a result of your job, then you might be able to recover compensation. Additionally, there are exceptions to the going and coming rule, such as whether or not you commute to and from work in a company car or if traveling is a major part of your job.

Because the coming and going rule can be very complex, and the specifics vary by state, it is highly recommended that injured workers consult with an attorney in order to learn more about what they can expect from a workers’ compensation claim in their state. Workers’ compensation laws in New York have seen some change recently, so New York residents are especially encouraged to consult with an attorney.