The short answer is “it depends”! Generally, injuries that happen when a worker is on their way to work, or on their way home from work, are excluded from coverage under Oregon law. This is often referred to as the “going and coming” rule. But like most rules, there special exceptions. For an injury to be compensable, a worker’s injury must “arise out of” and happen “in the course of” their employment. Both of these elements must be satisfied to some degree for an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Does Workers Compensation Cover Commuting to Work?
One exception to the “going and coming” rule involves the “parking lot” exception of the “going and coming” rule which will apply when a worker’s injury occurs “on or near” their employer’s premises and their employer exercises some control over where the injury occurs. The “parking lot” exception applies in a variety of factual circumstances. Whether such an injury is compensable involves careful evaluation of the facts in each specific employment and injury situation. The nature, condition, and obligations of the employment must be carefully evaluated to determine whether the legal requirements to establish a compensable injury have been met. There are other exceptions as well, such as if you are injured while driving a company vehicle or traveling as part of your work to name a few.
Workers’ compensation attorneys often refer to these types of cases as “course and scope” claims. These types of claims are complicated and hotly contested by insurance companies. In fact, they are so complicated that even attorneys disagree about whether an injury has occurred in the “course and scope” of a worker’s employment! This is the type of claim where you should consult an attorney – and probably a second one if the first one tells you that you don’t have a claim! The determination of whether such a claim is covered is largely based on case law with the general outcome being that injuries that happen on your employer’s premises are covered by workers’ compensation.