Malloy Law Offices is proud to help working people injured on the job navigate the worker’s compensation process. When honest, hardworking people find themselves injured through no fault of their own while navigating the hazards of their workplace, it’s only fair that they receive compensation for lost wages. This program allows people to seek medical attention and take time off work to recover completely from injuries without fear of losing their jobs. However, any law as nuanced and expansive as worker’s comp is going to have exceptions and gray areas that may confuse the layperson. Today we’ll be examining worker’s comp exceptions around a key gray area of Maryland worker’s compensation law. Can you receive worker’s comp if you were not on the clock when you sustained a work-related injury? And what is the “Going and Coming Rule?”
One key feature of Maryland’s worker’s comp statues is the “Going and Coming Rule.” This states that a worker can’t receive worker’s compensation benefits for injuries sustained while going to or coming from work. The employee bears any risk incurred while on their commute.
However, there are several key exceptions to this rule that may allow an injured worker to receive compensation for injuries incurred while not, strictly speaking, “at work.” Let’s review these in detail.
The first key exception to the going and coming rule concerns the transportation itself. If your transportation to work is paid for by your employer (e.g. a company car) and you are injured in an accident going to or coming from work, the injury may fall under worker’s compensation. This may also apply if bringing your own vehicle to work is mandatory for the work you are doing.
A large worker’s compensation exception has to do with whether you’re on the premises of your workplace. If you sustain an injury while entering or exiting your place of employment before or after a shift, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation. This includes any injuries sustained in the parking lot of your place of employment. This may fall under the category of premises liability, another topic we’ve explored extensively on this blog. It should be noted, however, that receiving worker’s compensation requires the injured worker to waive their right to hold their employer liable for their injury through a lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney after a workplace injury can clear up any confusion about the best course of action.
There is a provisional exception for “special dangers” an employee may face when traveling to work. It should be noted that this does not involve common risks like traveling on crowded highways at rush hour. This is by far the most variable and ambiguous possible exception to the going and coming rule. Consult your worker’s compensation attorney if you believe your commute may have a “special danger.”
If you were injured while commuting home, but you were going to remote work the second half of your day, you may qualify for exception. To qualify, it’s crucial that working at home is something that is a regular part of your schedule. If you were taking a half day due to some extenuating circumstance you likely would not qualify for the exception.
The last exception is really quite simple. If you were injured while running an errand outside of the workplace for your employer, this injury may be covered under worker’s compensation. However, given that special errand exceptions are variable, it is wise to discuss this in more detail with your worker’s comp attorney.
If there’s one trend to be observed in all these exceptions, it’s that worker’s compensation law is often ambiguous and open to interpretation. But there’s no ambiguity in the situation you may find yourself in after a workplace injury. You may be overwhelmed by medical bills, lost wages, and a lengthy and painful rehabilitation period. Don’t face the worker’s compensation process alone. Malloy Law’s dedicated worker’s compensation specialists are strong advocates for injured Maryland workers. We pride ourselves on a culture of individual attention for all our clients and empathy for the injured. Contact Malloy Law today and let us fight for you.