In general, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws provide benefits to employees who are injured in an auto accident occurring while on the job. However, there are a series of rules and exceptions which apply to these particular work-related accidents. If you have been injured in an auto accident while working, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorneys at White & Stradley, PLLC can review the details of your case to tell you whether or not you are eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.

The Coming and Going Rule

Injuries suffered in an auto accident occurring while you are driving to and from work are generally not covered by Workers’ Compensation, since the risks associated with driving to and from work are common to all people and are not related to the nature of your job.

However, there is an exception to this rule. If your employer provides you with a vehicle as part of your employment, you may receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for an auto accident even if you are driving to and from work. This exception may also apply to employees who are reimbursed for gas and mileage as part of their employment.

The Special Errand Rule

Injuries suffered in an auto accident may be covered by Workers’ Compensation if the accident occurred while you were performing an errand or duty beyond the normal requirements of your job. However, this rule will only be upheld if the court determines that you were acting in a manner which specifically benefits your employer. The special errand rule supersedes the coming and going rule when it comes to determining whether or not you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

The Dual Purpose Rule

The dual purpose rule is an exception to the coming and going rule. If traveling is part of your job responsibilities and you are currently driving to carry out these responsibilities, auto accident injuries may be covered by Workers’ Compensation even if the trip served a personal objective. For example, if you went to the bank to make a deposit for your employer and while there, made an additional deposit into your own bank account, Workers’ Compensation would cover your injuries in an auto accident traveling to and from the bank.

However, the dual purpose rule will not be in effect if your trip was only necessary for personal reasons. For example, if you left work on your lunch break to deposit a personal check at the bank but do not conduct company business while there, your auto accident injuries traveling to and from the bank would not be covered under Workers’ Compensation.

Traveling Salesman Exception

Generally, employees who must travel as part of their job will be covered under Workers’ Compensation if they are injured during work-related travel. If you are traveling away from your place of employment in the fulfillment of your job responsibilities, you are considered to be within the course of your employment, and therefore the coming and going rule will not apply to you.

However, you can be considered to step away from the course of your employment if you depart from the general route of your travels to conduct a personal errand. If you suffer an injury in an auto accident during this departure from your employment, your injuries may not be covered by Workers’ Compensation. However, once you have completed your personal errand and return to employment-related travel, any injury suffered in an accident would once again be covered under Workers’ Compensation.

If you have been injured in an auto accident while traveling for work, White & Stradley, PLLC can help you receive the Workers’ Compensation benefits you deserve.

Please contact our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation lawyers today to schedule your free initial Workers' Compensation consultation if you have been injured in an auto accident while on the job. White & Stradley, PLLC serves clients in Proudly serving Raleigh, Winston Salem, Charlotte, Durham, Asheville, Greensboro, Greenville, Wilmington, and all areas in North Carolina. You can also call us at 855-565-4044.

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