As a Georgia worker, you may spend one to two hours a day stuck in the car as you drive in and out of the Atlanta metro area. A recent study ranked Atlanta the sixth-worst city in terms of workplace commuting, beating even Los Angeles, California.
With all that time in the car going to and from work, you have a higher chance of getting in a car accident. What responsibility does your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance have if another driver bangs up you and your car on your way to work?
The “going and coming” rule
In Georgia, the going and coming rule states that employers do not hold any liability for accidents or injuries that occur while employees are on their way in or leaving work. The portion of your trip before you set foot on your employer’s property happens at your own risk. Additionally, you are not covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation if you get in an accident while driving to or from your home on a break during the workday.
The reasoning behind this rule comes from your freedom to choose how you get yourself to work. While your employer may require that you come into work at a certain time, the company does not dictate how you get there. It is your choice whether you take public transportation, carpool with a friend, bike or drive yourself.
As with every rule, there are exceptions. In certain cases, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy may cover any injuries you sustain in a car accident:
- Your supervisor asks you to make an additional stop on your way to or from work for a work-related reason
- You are on a business trip driving to or from a worksite to a hotel
- The majority of your job involves driving
Basically, if your employer somehow receives a special benefit from that particular car trip, the company also needs to cover any injuries that happen while you are on the road.