No Workers’ Comp for Injuries from Collision While Driving from Public Road Onto Employer’s Driveway

An employee injured in an automobile collision while turning from a public road into his employer’s gravel driveway, which served as the only entrance to the employer's facility, sought workers' compensation benefits for his injuries. The workers’ compensation board denied benefits on the ground that the injuries did not occur in the course of the employment even though the employee was reporting to work. The appellate court affirmed.


The court noted that, in general, to arise ‘in the course’ of the employment, an injury must occur during work and on the employer's premises. Therefore, most injuries sustained en route to or from the workplace are not covered.


The employee argued that the collision occurred on the employer’s premises because technically the employer owned the road on which the collision occurred. Further, the public road was extended by a public right-of-way onto the employer’s operating premises. Specifically, he pointed to the stipulated evidence that the employer’s property line “goes to approximately the center of the roadway and that the right of way of the [public road] extends fifteen feet on each side of the center.” However, the court found that the employer had no control over the use of the road as a public thoroughfare so the collision could not be said to have occurred on the employer’s premises.


See: Arnold v. Rose Acre Farms, Inc., 2012 WL 1018710 (Ind.App.  Mar 27, 2012) (not designated for publication).