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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover an Accident During My Daily Commute?

Few commuter accidents are covered, but some are.

Nebraska’s workers’ compensation system provides benefits for those who are injured in an accident “arising out of” and “in the course of” employment. That is the language used in our statutory law, but does this law cover a person’s daily commute? Just when is a person “working” for purposes of the worker’s compensation statute?

General Rule: No Coverage for Daily Commute

The Nebraska courts have actually considered this question in cases that stretch back to the 1930s. The general rule is that someone injured during their commute is not covered by workers’ compensation benefits. This is the “going to and from work” rule, and our state’s courts have recognized it for over half a century. In a 1961 case, Acton v. Wymore School District, for example, our Supreme Court stated that it was “well established” that injuries sustained going to and from work were not covered.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are many situations in which a worker might be able to claim compensation even if they were commuting to or from work. The key is to show a direct connection between the accident and the employer. Some examples our state’s Supreme Court has already recognized include:

There may be other situations in which a worker could be covered. For example, you might have been running an errand for your employer before heading into work or immediately after work:

If you are injured while performing these tasks, then you might be covered under the state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Let Our Omaha Workers Compensation Lawyers Help Analyze Your Case

There are few bright-line rules in this area of law. Everything will depend on the particular facts of the case, including what instructions your employer gave and the reason for the trip. Although accidents during a routine daily commute are typically not covered, your situation could be unique.

Andres Law Offices PC LLO has tackled many workers’ compensation cases, and we would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your case. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.