What Is the Coming and Going Rule for NY Workers’ Compensation?

person sitting in traffic on the way to work

Thousands of people in New York commute daily by subway, train, car, ferry, bicycle, bus, and other modes of travel. Unfortunately, commuters will occasionally sustain injuries in transit. These individuals may wonder: does workers’ compensation cover travel to and from work? Unfortunately, the answer is no in most – but not all – cases.

What Is the Coming and Going Rule, and How Does It Apply in New York?

A fundamental requirement of workers’ compensation law in New York is that an employee seeking benefits must have been injured on the job. The coming and going rule in New York workers’ compensation law indicates that commuting time typically is not regarded as work time.

As a result, if you were involved in an accident on the way to work, you likely would not be entitled to pursue compensation under workers’ compensation law because you weren’t yet working. If the accident happened on your way home, you probably would not be eligible because your workday had already ended.

Exceptions to the Coming and Going Rule

Learning about the coming and going rule may seem discouraging if you hoped to secure payment through workers’ comp after an injury that occurred during your commute. However, there are some exceptions to the coming and going rule in workers’ comp law.

Some of the circumstances in which you could be entitled to seek compensation for injuries suffered during your commute include situations where:

  • The travel was part of your regular job duties.
  • You were driving a company vehicle for work.
  • The accident occurred on your employer’s property.
  • You ran a work-related errand during your commute at your employer’s request.
  • You were traveling between job sites as part of your work duties.
  • Your employer pays the expenses associated with your commute.

All of these are situations in which your travel is directly related to providing some benefit to the employer and could reasonably be considered part of your official work duties.

Third-Party Claims for Commuting Accidents

If your case doesn’t fall under one of the legal exceptions to the coming and going rule, you may still be able to pursue compensation. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries – someone other than your employer or a co-worker – you could bring a personal injury claim against them.

For example, if you were driving and another motorist was at fault for the crash, you could be entitled to compensation from their auto liability policy for your serious injuries. If your injury stemmed from an unreasonably dangerous condition on someone else’s property – a train station or a sidewalk, for example – you could have a premises liability claim against the property owner.

Our attorneys are ready to investigate the accident that injured you to uncover all potential sources of compensation for you, including workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury claims.

Contact Our New York Work Accident Lawyers

The coming and going rule in workers’ comp law can be confusing. It may make you uncertain about whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits following an accident during your commute.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., fights for clients who may be eligible for benefits from workers’ compensation or other personal injury claims. We’re ready to use our decades of experience to seek a favorable outcome in your case. We look forward to learning more about your situation when you contact us today for a free case review.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.