To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Oklahoma, an injury or illness has to occur in the “course and scope of employment.” Does this mean that a work-related injury has to happen on the physical job site or in the office to qualify for workers’ comp? The answer is: not necessarily.
Typically, workers’ comp benefits are not available for injuries sustained while commuting to or from work. This is known as the “going and coming rule,” and there are some exceptions to this rule that Oklahoma workers need to know.
Exceptions to the rule
One or more of these five exceptions to the going and coming rule may affect your Oklahoma workers’ comp claim:
#1: Commuting in a company car.
While commuting to and from work in your own vehicle is exempted by the going and coming rule, commuting in a company-owned vehicle is typically covered by workers’ comp.
#2: Travel as a major part of your job.
If a major part of your job involves travel and you are injured or contract an illness while on a work trip, you will likely be covered by workers’ comp.
#3: Travel between job sites.
There are many jobs that require traveling between multiple job sites, such as working for a repair service, a landscaping company, a housecleaning service, and many more. If your job requires that you drive between different work sites and you are injured in the course of your daily driving schedule, you will likely be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
#4: Commercial traveler.
In most cases, all of the time an employee spends away on a business trip is considered to be within the scope of their employment. So if you are injured while attending a conference that only lasts a few hours a day, the entire time you spend traveling is considered to be work-related.
#5: Special mission.
A “special mission” is generally a task that is unrelated to your regular work duties, such as running errands for your boss before or after regular work hours. Getting injured while performing these extra tasks will usually entitle you to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Even though there are exceptions to the going and coming rule, you won’t know for sure if your injury that may fall into a “gray” area will qualify you for workers’ comp benefits until you talk with an experienced Oklahoma workers’ comp attorney.
Have you been injured at work? If so, seek legal representation from Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys are committed to protecting the best interests of injured workers. Let us fight for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll-free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.