Ingress Egress Rules
The Ingress Egress rules are confusing and controversial in North Carolina. Ingress-Egress is one of the most confounding sets of rules that employers, injured employees, adjusters, and WC courts face very often. Ingress- Egress is sometimes also referred to as the “going and coming” rules.
The definition of ingress is the act of entering a place or a way to enter a place. The definition of egress would be exactly- the opposite – The ingress and egress rules are also referred to as the “parking lot rules.” The debate seems to start when a First Report of Injury is received in a claims department where an injured employee slips and falls on a sidewalk or parking lot. The ingress-egress rules are not limited to just parking lots and sidewalks. Most of the serious ingress-egress rules can be stretched to vehicles.
What happens if an employee is in a vehicular mishap:
- On his/her way to/from work?
- During a company errand?
- In an employer-supplied vehicle?
- While on the cell phone/texting?
These will not be completely covered in this article, however, these are the questions company owners, risk managers, adjusters, and others in the WC industry should be asking themselves now, instead of post-accident.
Usually, I can provide a blanket statement that covers most of the US. This subject is too complicated to make any type of statement. There are many court rulings in the same state that even making a blanket statement for one state is almost impossible.
Deviation from the clear path is one of the terms that are very important to this subject. If an employee is on a company errand and deviates from the clear path, the claims are often denied and contested. Establishing a clear path can be a task with some routes.
Using Google Maps, I decided to see what the clear path is from our offices to a local Italian restaurant. According to Google Maps, (click on the link or here) there are three clear routes, depending on traffic. Some GPS units will choose one or the other depending on traffic.
A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision shows how complicated an ingress/egress or employee travel case can be when looking at all the facts. You may have to register to read the article (sorry for the inconvenience).
The bottom line is to know your state’s ingress-egress rules now even if they may be inconsistent.
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