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Workers' compensation coverage for job travel

In Pennsylvania and other states, workers' compensation insurance does not pay benefits for any injuries that happen to an employee who is driving to or from work. This rule is known as the going and coming rule, and courts have consistently upheld its legitimacy. Many other circumstances when an employee is traveling, however, do fall within the scope of workers' compensation coverage.

Someone on a business trip can consider most activities that take place during the trip to be work related. Time spent at a convention, training class or seminar is clearly part of the job. An injury that occurs during travel or time between between work duties on the trip would also qualify for coverage.

The law also considers employees who travel among job sites, even if they use their private vehicles, to be engaged in work duties. For an employee who does not generally travel, an injury that occurs on what is known as a special mission could count as an on-the-job accident. Examples of special missions include an employer asking a person to go out and buy coffee or even walk a dog.

Following a workplace accident, the injured person should formally report the incident to the employer. The victim should complete this action in a timely manner because deadlines need to be met when making a workers' compensation claim. If an employer makes documenting the injury difficult or does not provide information about benefits, then the person might wish to consult an attorney. A lawyer could access information about the insurance policy and assist the person with completing the claim paperwork. In some situations, an attorney could advise the victim about the possibility of filing a lawsuit against a negligent party that caused the accident.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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