When you are involved in an accident and the vehicle you are driving belongs to your employer, do you know who is responsible for paying your bills? If you are driving the car or truck as a requirement for your job, your bills may be covered.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, if you are operating the vehicle during the course of your duties, and can prove the requirements, the accident is compensable if injuries occur. In fact, injuries suffered while at motels, eating in restaurants, at lodges, while traveling by airplane, train, or car, while engaged in recreational activities, and while traveling to your area of service are all compensable if they are being done as required for your job. The part of the law that covers these injuries claims that they are “in the course of employment.”
The Going and Coming Rule
Most people with a job have to travel to and from work. For much of the public, it is an unavoidable part of employment. Because of this, many injuries occurring while on your way to or from work are not compensable.
The Going and Coming Rule has exceptions:
- You are driving to or from work, but you are on your employer’s premises when the accident occurs. This is the premises exception.
- You are performing a mission, errand, or duty pursuant to your employment. This is the special errands exception.
- You are not restricted to a specific place or time of employment. This is the traveling salesman exception.
- Your employer provides transportation or covers the cost of your transportation. This is the contractual duty exception.
In general, if you work at a fixed place and are given a time to arrive and a time to leave, the going and coming rule applies to you.
If you are required to travel away from your permanent residence or place of employment, you are considered a traveling employee. Any injuries are covered. If you decide to run a personal errand or travel for any reason that is not required as part of your duties, your injuries are not covered.
Whether or not you are compensated often depends upon your ability to prove that you were driving as part of your duties. This is where the exceptional attorneys at Auger & Auger can assist you. If you were injured in an accident while driving a vehicle provided from your employer, call us immediately. First consultations are free, and we are ready to help you today. Call now.