This area of workers’ compensation law in Arkansas can be confusing, depending on the circumstances of an accident involving a worker going to and coming from work. In Arkansas, the rule applies to all commuting employees. However, there are exceptions to the going and coming rule, and Arkansas cases are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis only.
In general, the going and coming rule hinders a claimant from receiving workers’ compensation benefits for an injury sustained while going to or returning to their place of employment. Compensation is not available if the injured worker did not perform employment services at the time of the accident. However, there are exceptions.
“Most of my slip and fall cases usually involve injured workers who are not covered by workers’ compensation, either because they have clocked out or have not yet clocked in,” said Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney Jason M. Hatfield of the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. In instances like this, “The employer does not get the defense of ‘open and obvious,’ because the employee was forced to encounter the danger by coming to work.”
If you were injured due to slipping in an icy or wet parking lot or tripping over cracked pavement and walkways, this may or may not qualify as performing employment services. Talk with our team today to discuss your situation and determine the next best steps.
Does The Going and Coming Rule Apply In Your Case?
If you are still not sure about the circumstances of your claim, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield.
Answers to the following questions can help paint a clearer picture of the incident to your workers’ compensation attorney:
- Was I performing a duty considered to be essential to my job?
- Was I moving work-related materials?
- Did those worksite trips involve hazardous conditions?
- Was I injured during the usual commute to my workplace?
- Was I driving between worksites?
- Am I required to drive my vehicle when traveling for work?
After discussing the details of your incident with an attorney, they can advise you of your legal rights, how to file a claim, and what you may expect. To collect workers’ compensation, you have to prove your injuries happened at work or while you were on your employer’s time doing your job. Workers are entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries sustained while working for their employer.
In Arkansas, every case is analyzed based on its unique circumstances. Although there are exceptions, a worker is not considered to be doing their work while traveling to and from work, which may include any incident in an employer’s parking lot.
It is essential to know that despite the going and coming rule, there are situations where the rules may not apply. If you have sustained serious injuries near your workplace and are unsure if you have a claim, contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, and talk to us. We’re here to help.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield
The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. represents workers’ compensation claims from Northwest Arkansas, including Fort Smith, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Berryville, and Harrison. Call us today for your free workers’ compensation consultation at (479) 361-3575.