The simple answer is "No" because Florida law is pretty clear that workers traveling to or from work are not typically in the course and scope of employment unless they are on duty. However, you cannot stop there. A good workers' compensation attorney will look further into the facts of the situation to determine if there is an exception to this so-called "going and coming" rule.
For example, if someone is injured on the employer's premises on the way to start work, they would be entitled to Florida workers' compensation benefits. Injuries occurring in the parking lot owned and controlled by the employer would be covered under Florida workers' compensation. It does not matter whether the employee has punched in or "on the clock" or being paid at the time of the injury.
Also, business travel between an employer's multiple locations is in the course and scope of employment and would be compensable under Florida's Worker's Compensation law. Thus, traveling nurses or home health care nurses would be covered by Florida workers' comp if they were involved in a car accident on the way to the next patient.
Lastly, if the employee is on duty during travel time or is doing a service for the employer, the employee is in the course and scope of his employment. Examples of on-duty travel includes insurance adjusters, rehabilitation specialists or attorneys who start for their first appointment of the workday from home. Under certain situations, the law considers them on-duty and entitled to workers' compensation benefits. For example, a workers' compensation attorney tool a client's case file home to prepare for a deposition the next morning. In the morning, the attorney reviewed the file at home in preparation of the deposition. On the way to the deposition (not on the way to the office), he was injured. Thus, he was entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
There are other exceptions to the "going and coming" rule. Thus, it is important that if you or a loved one is involved in a car accident or otherwise injured either going to work or leaving work, he or she talks with an attorney who understands both Florida workers' compensation benefits and car accident law. Otherwise, they may not be receiving all the rights they are entitled to.
Click here for a free case consultation with Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes. Attorney Matthew Noyes has been the director of his firm's Workers' Compensation Department for many years and also handles hundreds of automobile accident cases a year. He understands the connection between workers' compensation law and automobile accident law.