Workers Compensation: “Coming and Going” Rule for Injuries While Commuting

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Generally, an employee “going to or from the place where her work is to be performed is not engaged in performing any service growing out of and incidental to her employment.” In other words, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation laws, like those of many other states, do not cover employees when they are “commuting,” going on personal errands or other non work-related activities, according to workers comp injury lawyer Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.

There are three recognized exceptions to this “Coming and Going” rule:

  1. 1. Where in going to and from work the means of transportation is provided by the employer or the time consumed is paid for or included in the wages.
  2. 2. Where the way used is the sole and exclusive way of ingress and egress with no other way, or where the way of ingress and egress is constructed by the employer.
  3. 3. Where the employee on his way to or from work is still charged with some duty or task in connection with his employment.

In the Washington v. Honeywell case discussed in the prior post, the injured worker argued that her injury was compensable because her trip to the parking lot falls within the second exception to the “coming and going ” rule. As noted in the previous post, Industrial Street, where the claimant was injured, was not the “sole and exclusive way of ingress and egress with no other way” for the claimant to reach her place of work.

The claimant was permitted to park in any of the several parking lots made available by Honeywell. If the claimant had parked in another Honeywell parking lot, she would not have needed to cross Industrial Street. Thus, the claimant’s route was not the sole and exclusive way of ingress and egress, and the claimant’s situation does not fit within the exception.

If you or someone you care for has been injured in a car crash, truck accident or other type or motor vehicle accident, whether on the job or not, and there are questions about what laws apply, please email or call us at Abrams Landau, Ltd. (703-796-9555).