Articles Posted in “Coming and Going” Rule

A gas station clerk who was shot and seriously injured while in his personal vehicle outside the store will be allowed to collect workers’ compensation for his injuries. That’s according to a ruling from the state’s Commonwealth Court, which held the injuries inflicted by violence were work-related, even though he was preparing to leave for the night, and he wasn’t technically on site. gun

The justices looked carefully at evidence tending to indicate the shooting was retribution by the family members of a woman who had been arrested for shoplifting.

According to, the plaintiff was shot soon after he was threatened by the woman’s relatives.

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The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued an important workers’ compensation decision that will affect employees injured while traveling from one portion of an employer’s property to another, even if that reasonably necessary and direct route involves property that belongs to a third party. crosswalk

The case is Davaut v. Univ. of So. Carolina. Central to this matter was the “coming-and-going” rule, which generally precludes workers’ compensation benefits for workers who are injured while traveling to and from work. However, there have been exceptions when workers are injured on employer property, such as parking lots.

In the Davaut case, the state adopts the so-called “divided premises” rule, which holds that employees traveling from one part of an employer’s property to another over a direct and reasonably necessary route are acting in the course of employment for workers’ compensation purposes.

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The family of an anesthesiology technician who was gunned down while making his way to the hospital, where he was called in last-minute to assist with liver transplant, is seeking workers’ compensation benefits from his employer.


Stephen Halton Jr. was fatally shot back in January 2014 as he waited at an RTA bus stop around 4:30 a.m. He was just 30-years-old, a husband and father of two who also left behind two loving parents.

Now, his family is warring against Halton’s former employer, arguing the Cleveland Clinic should pay workers’ compensation death benefits. Initially, the Ohio Industrial Commission had refused the claim because, as the hearing officer noted, Halton was required to be on call starting at 6 a.m. For that reason, the hearing officer held that Halton couldn’t have been considered “on call” when he was shot one-and-a-half hours earlier at 4:30 a.m.  Continue reading

A university teacher recently prevailed in her claim for workers’ compensation benefits from the school after she suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident in her employer’s icy parking lot. icicles

Sure, it’s July, so ice isn’t the first thing on our minds here in North Carolina. But the case of Bober v. Oklahoma State University is worth examining for the simple fact that employers and insurers will seek any opportunity to deny benefits – no matter what the season.

It’s important that workers understand their rights.  Continue reading

Normally, plaintiff in Kelly v. Blue Ribbon Linen Supply Inc. wouldn’t have been driving for any work-related purpose. She worked at a fixed location at a retail store. She did travel to and from work, but of course, state workers’ compensation laws in Idaho (where this case unfolded), as in North and South Carolina, prohibit benefits for injuries that occur during the daily commute (known as the “coming-and-going” rule). highway2

But in November of 2013, she was traveling 125 miles away from home at the request of her employer’s workers’ compensation insurer to undergo an independent medical exam. This request was made with the understanding that if she didn’t go, she would forfeit any right to workers’ compensation benefits for an earlier claim stemming from a foot injury caused when a shopping cart rolled over it.

An independent medical exam is often ordered by an employer’s insurance company to resolve questions about a claimant’s medical condition, including the degree of impairment. Claimant went to this exam. On her return, which involved no stops or detours, a sport utility vehicle traveling the opposite direction on the highway crossed the center line and struck her vehicle head-on. Nothing claimant did caused or even contributed to the crash. As a result of that impact, she suffered severe injuries to her lower extremities, and had to be placed in a skilled nursing facility for four months after the crash. Some of her injuries may be lifelong. Continue reading

The state of North Carolina abides by the so-called “coming-and-going rule” when it comes to injuries sustained by an employee who is traveling to or from his place of employment.
Generally speaking, these injuries will not be covered by workers’ compensation unless the worker is driving a vehicle furnished by the employer as an incident to the contract of employment, or if the injuries were sustained while the worker was on a premises owned or controlled by employer.

In a recent case out of Georgia, a pastry chef suffered grievous injuries in February last year while on her way to her place of employment, a local bread bakery and cafe. According to news reports, she was astride her bicycle when a car driver ran over her.
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It’s a long-held principle in workers’ compensation law that if you are injured on the commute to or from work, those injuries are not considered to be work-related, and therefore not eligible for benefits.
However, our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys know there are often exceptions that can be made when the facts are conducive to proving the commute was in fact part of your job.

This was the sort of case before the Kansas Supreme Court in Williams v. Petromark Drilling, LLC. The justices were asked to decide whether the serious injuries sustained by an oil driller who was in a co-worker’s vehicle as they drove home was covered by workers’ compensation.
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As we head into the hottest days of summer, we wrap up our series of blogs on common workplace injuries with the two types of heat illness: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Workers with outside jobs or heat-related job duties are often at high risk of exposure to heat illness in North Carolina job sites.
Winston-Salem workers’ compensation lawyers want to remind employees that there is a fine line between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so take the necessary precautions to avoid serious injury or illness while you are at work.

WFMY News reports that a Burlington firefighter was recently treated for heat exhaustion after responding to a call regarding a machine fire at a plant at Glen Raven Mills. This is just one example of how heat-related jobs can not only be dangerous, but can cause serious illness. Thousands of workers throughout the U.S are treated at hospitals for heat exhaustion or heat stroke each year.

North Carolina Division of Public Health has already reported about 319 heat-related illness emergency room visits between May 1 June 4 this year. The majority of cases have involved young (ages 24-44) and middle-aged (45-64) adults. The three common reasons leading to the heat illness is playing or working outdoors and job-related outdoor activities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the workers that are most in danger of heat-related illness are farmers, factory workers, constructions workers, postal workers, bakers, miners, firefighters and boiler room workers. Employees most at risk are those older than 65, overweight, workers with high blood pressure, or workers on certain prescribed medications.

The following are symptoms of heat exhaustion: dizziness, cramps, headache, nausea, sweaty skin or a fast heartbeat. Heat stroke can often be detected by signs of confusion, convulsions, fainting, high temperature or red, hot and dry skin. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers the following tips to prevent a heat-related illness at work:

-Drink plenty of water on a timely schedule, even if you aren’t thirsty. It is recommended to drink every 15 minutes.

-Refrain from drinking beverages like coffee, energy drinks, soda or alcohol in extreme hot temperatures.

-Keep an eye on other employees around you. If you see strange behavior or signs of heat exhaustion call for help immediately and alert a supervisor.

-Have your work site location memorized in case you need to call for help. A 911 dispatch will need an address to send a rescue team to your location.

-Always wear a hat for protection from the sun and light-weight and fair-colored cotton clothing. Dark clothes attract the heat and shouldn’t be worn.

-Ask your employer to provide a tent or covering for shade. Take periodic breaks in the shade.

-Never climb under machinery or a vehicle to get out of the sun. You run the risk of the vehicle moving and crushing you.
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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study reveals motor vehicle fatalities cost an estimated $41 billion in work loss and medical expenses annually. The CDC results are based on 2005 data, the most current year it said all-inclusive statistics on costs were available. Over half of all costs ($20.4 billion) are in the following 10 states: California ($4.16 billion), Texas ($3.50 billion), Florida ($3.16 billion), Georgia ($1.55 billion), Pennsylvania ($1.52 billion), North Carolina ($1.50 billion), New York ($1.33 billion), Illinois ($1.32 billion), Ohio ($1.23 billion) and Tennessee ($1.15 billion).

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers in Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro want you to know that car accidents that happen on the job are covered by workers’ compensation. Let’s review the exceptions and general rules about car crashes under the NC Workers’ Compensation Act.

-Coming and Going Rule: Generally speaking, if you are in a car crash while going to or coming from work it is not covered by workers’ compensation. The reason being it is not an unusual risk as a duty of employment, most people have to drive to work each day.

-Contractual Duty Exception: An injury from a crash can be covered if an employer gives an employee a vehicle to use as part of their employment. An accident happening while using the company vehicle to travel to and from work is covered. An accident may not be covered if using a company vehicle is a goodwill gesture by your employer and not a requirement of your job.

-Special Errand Rule: An employee is covered if they are injured in an accident while running an errand that benefits their employer. In this case the coming and going rule doesn’t apply.

-Dual Purpose Rule: If your employer sends you to the bank and while there you do some personal banking and then have a car accident on the way back to work you are covered. If you run to the bank for personal reasons only and are injured then you are not covered.

-Traveling Salesman Exception: If you are required to travel as part of your job you are covered and the coming and going rule doesn’t apply. If you run a personal errand that is clearly not job-related and have an accident then you may not be covered.
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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.
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