Even though most forms of employment require the employee to commute from their home to the location of the employment, workers’ are not always protected against all the perils of that journey by the workers’ compensation system. To aid in determining whether an injury occurred within the course and scope of a claimant’s employment, the courts have developed a rule known as the “going and coming” rule. Under this rule, an employee injured while traveling to or from a fixed place of employment does not necessarily sustain the injury in the “course of employment.”
The “going and coming” rule does not apply if the employee sustained an injury while in transit in performance of a special task, service, mission, or errand for the employer. For example, if the injured worker is delivering a load of wood to a lumber yard for the employer and while in transit to the lumber yard the employee is injured in a car accident, the “going and coming” rule does not apply and the employee still has a valid claim under the workers’ compensation system.
However, simply because an employee carries work related material while going to and from work, does not necessitate a finding that the trip occurred within the course of employment.