Workplace injuries are an all too common occurrence but thankfully it’s becoming common knowledge that if you’re injured on the job you’re entitled to some form of compensation. What many people don’t know is that you may have similar rights if you’re injured while on your way to work.
Is Your Employer Liable if You’re Injured on the Way to Work?
If you suffer a personal injury on your way to work then, in most cases, you wouldn’t actually be covered by workers compensation because you weren’t on the clock. That means if you slip and fall on the GO station platform, get rear-ended on the 401, or trip over some unmarked construction on the street, then your employer won’t be considered liable.
That means that you are NOT covered if you are:
● Commuting to or from work
● Going for lunch or a personal errand
● Committing a crime
● Driving a company car, but not completing a work task.
Just because your employer isn’t liable doesn’t mean that you’re on your own. There’s a good chance that someone else is liable for your injuries. You should still speak to a personal injury lawyer. They will be able to help you determine whether or not you have a case, who should be held responsible and eventually get you the compensation that you deserve. For example, if you were to be rear-ended on the 401, then the other driver would very likely be held responsible.
But what if you are injured on the job while traveling for work?
Injured While Travelling for Work
Suffering from a personal injury while traveling for work (as opposed to traveling to work) is a different story. As long as you were on the clock and traveling as part of your work responsibilities (for example, visiting a client, inspecting a building site, or making door-to-door sales) then, depending on the circumstances there are a number of potentially liable parties: your employer, yourself or others.
Car Accident While Travelling for Work
One common scenario is that you, as an employee, find yourself in a motor vehicle accident. There are a few different potential scenarios:
1) You caused the accident and your insurance covers it: If you caused the accident then you’ll be held liable and your insurance will be billed.
2) You caused the accident and your insurance isn’t high enough If the cost of the accident is higher than your normal insurance coverage then your employer’s insurance may also be billed through what’s called “vicarious liability.”
3) Someone else caused the accident: If someone else caused the accident then you may be able to sue them (just like you would in an accident outside of work), but you may also be entitled to worker’s compensation as well. Worker’s compensation can help you cover lost wages, but it doesn’t account for pain and suffering. To get compensation for pain and suffering you would have to sue the other parties.
4) Your employer caused the accident: If your employer caused or contributed to the accident as a result of their own negligence, then you might have a legal case against them as well.
Use this information the next time you or someone you know has been injured traveling to work or for work. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal system to get the compensation you deserve.