Can You Suffer a Workplace Injury on the Way to Work?
By Brett Burlison
Let’s say you are on your way to work in San Francisco (or any part of the Bay Area), and you injure yourself in the parking lot outside your workplace. Can you claim your injury is a workplace injury and file an appropriate legal or workers compensation action as a result?
Well, normally the answer would be no. Many states have what’s known as a “coming and going” rule. The rule works like this. Workers compensation system precludes coverage for injuries that a worker suffers while they are commuting to and from work.
Injury attorneys in San Francisco and all over the country have grumbled at the unfair nature of this law for years. And to personal injury attorneys like myself, it is easy to see how when a person is injured on their way to work, but for their work they wouldn’t have been injured. Well, normally we simply loose that fight.
However, the Supreme Court in Nebraska just ruled in favor of a worker who was injured while walking to work through a parking lot just as he had done every day. The ruling allows the employee’s suit to go forward in Nebraska but it is a win for common sense and for workers everywhere.
If the case goes forward and the injury victim is able to prevail, other courts and other states may take a closer look at this rule that has been harming workers for years.
Brett A. Burlison, is a personal injury attorney in San Francisco
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