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Employers are sometimes liable for workplace travels

| Nov 6, 2020 | Workers Compensation |

Florida employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to help protect employees and job providers alike against potential workplace injuries. The state-mandated insurance coverage protects workers against the costs of workplace injuries and partial or full loss of earnings ability going forward. Workers are expected to go to and from work using their own means and do not enjoy the same protections as they do while on the job.

Why travel exceptions exist

The law holds employers responsible for workplace safety. However, they are not liable for workers who might drive potentially dangerous vehicles or who fall victim to another driver’s mistakes while heading to or from work. Many workers also use public transportation, get rides from co-workers and friends, or are pedestrians who walk or ride bikes to and from work.

All of those activities are exempt from workers’ comp coverage due to already existing auto insurance requirements and homeowners’ insurance protecting pedestrians. Plus, employers cannot control the quality of vehicles used or the safety of the travels that workers undergo.

Exceptions to travel exemptions

On occasion, a worker might have to use personal transportation or otherwise run errands on work-related tasks that put them out on the public roadways. Under such circumstances, the “going and coming” rule means that workers’ comp coverage applies because the task is wholly work-related and required by the employer. If the worker has to run errands and uses a vehicle owned by the employer, then workers’ compensation will cover any injuries not already covered by commercial auto insurance that should be in place on a work-owned car.

Going and coming rule often is misunderstood

A wide range of exemptions and qualifying circumstances could understandably confuse workers regarding when they might be covered via workers’ compensation benefits. That is especially true of workers who use their own vehicles to run work-related tasks and get injured in a car accident. An experienced workers’ comp attorney in the greater Orlando area may review the circumstances and help you to better understand how the going and coming rule might affect your situation.

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