The going and coming rule in workers’ compensation in Maryland, says, in essence, “You cannot get workers’ compensation benefits for injuries happening while you are going to work or coming home from work.” It is the employee’s risk and responsibility to get to work safely and get home from work safely.

So no, you probably cannot receive compensation if you got into an accident on the way to work or otherwise got hurt on your way to work.  It is a common, and reasonable, question.

There are, however, exceptions to the going and coming rule.

Transportation Needed or Paid for By Employer

If the employer paid for your transportation to or from work, the injury may be compensable.  Therefore, if you were driving a company car and got into an accident on the way to or from work, the injury may be compensable.  Likewise, even if you are in your own car, if your employer needs you to bring that car to work, you can be compensated for a to or from injury.

Premises Exception

If you are essentially at work already – if you are on the premises – you can be compensated with workers’ compensation benefits.  This includes the parking lot.

Special Dangers

If you have a special hazard in getting to work – such as crossing a dragon filled moat or driving on I-95 at rush hour – you may be entitled to compensation for a going and coming injury.  Special hazard exceptions vary – please consult your workers’ compensation attorney.

I-95 is a joke: There is NOT a special hazard exception for this dangerous activity.

Dual Purpose

If you were going home, but you were going to work the second half of the day at home and this is something you regularly do, this would qualify as an exception.  The “mission” for the employer must be at least a big a part of the travel need as the personal part.

Special Errands

Did you have to run out on Sunday to pick up Monday’s birthday cake for Sally?  You were working – it is a special errand – and it is compensable.  These “special errand exceptions” vary.  Please contact your comp attorney.

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