The Going & Coming Rule
In Rhode Island, in order for a work-related injury to be compensable there is a three-prong test that must be met to establish a nexus between the injury and the employment. The three prong test is as follows:
The injury must have occurred within the period of the employee's employment;
The injury must have occurred at a place where the employee might reasonably have been expected to be; and
The injury must have occurred while the employee was either fulfilling the duties of the employment or performing some task reasonably incidental to the conditions under which those duties were to be performed.
With that being said, generally, an employee who suffers an injury going to and coming from employment is not compensable. However, many exceptions have been carved into this rule and each case must be approached individually and analyzed on the specific facts of the incident.
For example, an employee who was hit by a car crossing a public street was found to have suffered a compensable injury. This was because the employee was leaving the employer's parking lot after parking her car in a designated lot and in order to enter the employer's building, the employee had to cross the public street. Thus, the risk to the employee crossing the public street had to be considered a condition that was incidental to her employment.
Each factual situation is unique and must be assessed as so. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will be able to assess whether you've suffered a compensable injury in your travels to or from employment.