If you have ever gotten into an accident while you are going to work and you are injured, you may wonder whether your injuries can be covered by worker's compensation insurance. Most states have a rule that says you cannot be covered by worker's comp if you are not currently on the clock. However, there are some exceptions that you should know when it comes to commuting to work and worker's compensation benefits coverage:
What Is the Rule?
The rule is referred to as the Going and Coming Rule. The rule states that you cannot receive compensation if you get into an accident on your way to and from work. However, there may be some times where this rule does not come into play.
For instance, when you drive to a location to perform a function specific to your job description and you get into an accident, your injuries may qualify for worker's compensation coverage. The argument is that because you were driving to another location to do your job and you are hurt on another location aside from your workplace, you were therefore injured while performing your job. The only difference is you were in a vehicle at the time of your injury.
What Do You Do After the Accident?
If you are hurt while commuting within the scope of your job and you believe you qualify for worker's compensation benefits, you need to file an incident report with your employer's human resources department. This is crucial whether or not you think you will be covered. The insurance carrier of your employer's worker's compensation insurance will look at your claim and decide if your accident qualifies. You will have a limited time to file your report, so do this as soon as possible.
What If the Claim Is Denied?
If you receive a denial of your worker's compensation claim and you want to appeal, you have a few steps to take. Your first step is to check that your employer contacted the insurance company with your accurate information. Your employer may have failed to submit your claim for any number of reasons. If you suspect your claim was not submitted, you can contact the insurer on your own to confirm.
Once you contact the insurance company, you need to call a worker's compensation attorney. Your attorney will look at the claim and determine if your case can be won on appeal. He or she will begin by contacting your employer to appeal your claim, whether or not it was actually submitted. If you were denied for other reasons aside from failure to submit, your attorney will help you appeal the claim with your employer's worker's compensation insurer.
For more information, reach out to firms like that of Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.