According to media reports, an Augusta man died Thursday as he was returning to Aiken from his job as a painter. The man is reported to have been driving a truck owned by his employer. According to a passenger who had been in the truck with him, the driver began to choke. He then lost control of his vehicle, crashed into the guardrail on Interstate 20, and was partially ejected from the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger, who had been wearing a seatbelt, survived the crash.
The South Carolina workers’ compensation system, like that in most states, does not cover employees injured while they are coming from or going to their job site. However, an exception to this rule applies if the employee, while traveling to or from work, was charged with a duty or task related to his employment. The question then becomes whether the worker had to perform work-related duties while traveling to or from work, and whether he or she was under the control of the employer during that trip. In at least one case, the Court of Appeals of South Carolina held that a claimant who was driving a company truck and had been asked by his employer to take another employee home was, in fact, covered under the workers’ compensation system.
Other exceptions apply to the “coming and going” rule, as well. Any South Carolina worker who is injured while traveling to or from work would be well advised to consult an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney as part of the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim.
The Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Lee & Smith serve clients in both South and North Carolina. For a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation case, please contact us by phone or email.