Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Under Florida’s ‘Going and Coming’ Rule?
Millions of workers in Florida commute to and from work every day. While the vast majority of them are not injured while traveling to or from work, some sustain injuries on their way to work. But are you eligible for workers’ compensation if you were injured while commuting to or from work?
Workers’ Compensation and the Going and Coming Rule
This question is addressed in Florida’s “going and coming” rule. Under the Florida Statutes Section 440.092, an injury that occurs while a worker is traveling to or from work is not considered a work-related injury that arose out of or in the course of employment.
However, if the worker was running errands for their employer or was engaged in a work-related task while going to or coming from work, their injury could be compensable under Florida’s workers’ compensation law.
People who commute to and from work are just as likely to get injured while traveling as the general public. Since a trip to or from the office is not a work-related hazard, you must be able to establish a link between the commute and your job to be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Going and Coming Rule and Off-the-Clock Injuries
Under Florida law, “going and coming” begins when the employee enters the employer’s premises and ends when the worker leaves the premises to go home. Under the going and coming rule in Florida, an employee can be off the clock and still be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
For example, if an employee is injured in the parking lot owned by their employer, their injury would be compensable under Florida’s workers’ compensation law. However, even if the employer does not own the parking lot, the employee may still be entitled to compensation by pursuing a negligence-based claim against the parking lot owner. Consult with an attorney to identify liable parties in your particular case.
You may also be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits when you arrive early and get injured even when not on the clock. If you get hurt while traveling from one location owned by your employer to another, workers’ comp benefits may be available to you as well.
Talk to a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It is best to consult with a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney if you were injured while traveling to or from work to determine whether the “going and coming” rule applies to your particular situation.
Do not believe your employer or their insurance company if they tell you that you are not eligible for workers’ compensation just because you were not on the clock when the injury occurred or because the injury happened outside the normal workplace. You could be eligible for workers’ comp benefits even if you were off the clock when the workplace accident occurred.
You need to understand how the going and coming rule works in Florida to determine whether or not you qualify for workers’ comp benefits. The “going and coming” rule has many exceptions, which can complicate your case. Contact the Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys at Kobal Law to receive a consultation about your particular situation. Call at 813-873-2440 for a case evaluation.