North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws were put in place to provide employees with benefits if they are injured in a work-related accident. This includes motor vehicle accidents that take place while on the job. However, there are certain exceptions when these particular laws do not apply. If you have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you need to speak to an experienced North Carolina attorney who can help you understand whether your injuries and damages will be covered under workers’ compensation benefits or not.
Coming and Going Law
When a person is traveling from or to work, they are usually not covered under workers’ compensation benefits. This is because most people have to travel to and from work and the risks associated with doing so are not directly related to the nature of their job. However, there is one exception to this rule. If your employer gives you a vehicle to drive as part of your employment and you are in an accident traveling to or from work in this vehicle, you could be entitled to receive benefits through workers’ compensation. This same rule applies to employees who get compensated for mileage and gas as part of their employment terms.
Special Errand Law
If you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident and you were performing a duty or errand beyond what is normally required for your job, you may be covered by workers’ compensation. For example, you normally do not have to go pick up the mail for your employer, but because she just had surgery, she asked you to go pick up the mail. While going to the post office you are in an accident and suffer injuries. Because your boss would have benefited from this errand, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, this rule will likely only be upheld by the court if they believe you were acting in a manner that would benefit your employer. This rule will supersede the coming and going rule when determining workers’ compensation benefits eligibility.
Dual Purpose Law
This is an exception to the rule of coming and going. If traveling is part of your normal job duties and you are driving to carry out these duties, accidents may be covered by workers’ compensation benefits, even if the trip you were taking had a personal objective. For example, if you went to the bank to make a deposit for your boss and since you were already there, you also took care of some personal banking business, workers’ compensation benefits should cover your injuries incurred during any accidents.
However, if your trip was purely for personal reasons, the dual-purpose rule would not be available to you.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident while at work, or believe your injuries from another work accident entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits, contact the attorneys at The Law Office D. Hardison Wood today to schedule a consultation. We will review your situation and help you understand your legal rights and options.