Typically, in Illinois, workers’ compensation does not cover employees injured during their commute to and from work. This is known as the coming and going rule in workers’ comp law. Since your employer has no control over what happens to you during your commute, he or she cannot be held liable for injuries you sustain on your way to and from work.

What Are the Exceptions to the Coming and Going Rule?

The exceptions to the coming and going rule depend on if your employer receives some benefit from what you were doing at the time. In this case, you would be considered within your employment zone and covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. Examples of exceptions include the following:

  • If you are paid during your commute, Illinois law recognizes this as an exception and workers’ compensation will cover injuries you have received during your commute. 
  • Suppose your employer asks you to complete some additional errand that the company will benefit from during your commute and you are injured. In that case, you qualify for workers’ compensation. 
  • If you are an employee who travels as part of your work duties, the coming and going rule does not apply. Workers’ compensation should cover you from when you leave home until you return, as long as you act within your employment zone.
  • If you drive a company vehicle, the arrangement is typically beneficial for your employer; any injuries you receive while driving the vehicle should be covered through workers’ compensation.
  • If you are an “on-call” employee, you are most likely covered by workers’ compensation from the moment you receive the call to come into work.
  • If you are injured during a business trip, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Assessing an Accident to See If the Coming and Going Rule Applies

While the coming and going rule may seem complex to someone not well-versed in the law, speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney may save you from missing potential benefits. The attorney will know what questions to ask, like did the commute include personal and business tasks, or did you have to deviate from your usual route for this extra errand? If your workers’ comp is denied, an attorney can help you determine if your case truly qualifies.