As offices begin a return-to-work plan, Florida is set to experience an influx of daily commuters. Although traveling to work is a necessary part of many people’s lives, daily travel can pose risks to commuters. Those who commute the same way to work every day often feel a sense of security and may ignore their surroundings. However, commuters may merely be victims of another reckless or negligent party in some cases.
In Florida, employers conducting work in the state must provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. The specific coverage requirements vary depending on the industry or organization and the number of employees. Some business owners may opt-out of the insurance coverage if they meet the exemption requirements.
The law applies to all accidental injuries and occupational conditions arising out of and in the course and scope of employment. However, the law does not cover certain mental or nervous injuries related to stress or fright. Further, pain and suffering damages are not compensable in Florida.
Going and Coming Rule
Under Florida Statute Section 440.092, employees who are off the clock may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A recent Florida appellate court opinion addressed whether the “going or coming” rule applied in a case where a drunk driver crashed into an employee while the employee was driving from his home to his first remodeling job of the day.
Florida’s “going or coming” exclusion provides that injuries suffered while going to or coming from work are not one arising “out of and in the scope of employment,” regardless of whether or not the employer provided the transportation if the transportation was available for the personal use by the employee unless the employee was engaged in a special errand or mission for their employer.
However, the “traveling employee” exception provides that an employee who is required to travel as part of their employment who suffers an injury while traveling shall be eligible for benefits. However, these benefits are only available if the employee is actively engaged in their work duties. The exception does not include travel to and from work.
Here, the victim argued that he was a traveling employee and thus entitled to compensation. However, the court held that the vicitm was a typical commuting employee when the drunk driver injured him in the accident. Therefore, Section 440.092(2) unambiguously excludes that accidental injury from compensability.*
Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or an occupational disease arising from your Florida employment, contact the Florida workers’ compensation lawyers at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada. The experienced attorneys on our team understand that workplace safety is something many people take for granted, and those who suffer injuries at work deserve compensation. We have a long history of successfully advocating for and representing Florida accident victims in their claims for benefits. In addition to Florida workers’ compensation cases, our firm handles personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability, and product liability cases. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.