Course & Scope of Employment: Your Employer's Responsibilities
Course and scope of employment means any kind of work that is required of you to do your job. This includes work done on company grounds or other locations as agreed upon with your employer. If you must drive to different locations using a company car, it is considered part of the course and scope of your employment.
If you drive a company car, you may have questions about whether your employer's insurance covers you and for what. Based on the definition above, if you are using the car for work purposes, yes. Your employer's insurance must cover you if you have an accident.
There are some exceptions to this rule, though. Section 401.011(12) of the Texas Labor Code lists the activities that have been removed from the course and scope of employment. They are called the "coming and going" rule, the "special mission exception," and the "dual purpose doctrine."
The "coming and going" rule, Section 201.011(12)(A), states the company's insurance is not responsible for your injury on your way to or from work unless: you must drive the car provided by the company as part of your employment contract, the company is the sole owner of the car, or you have been ordered by your employer to go from one place to the next, which is called the "special mission exception."
The "dual purpose doctrine," Section 201.011(12)(B), states an employer's insurance is not responsible for your injury if you were taking care of both business and personal issues at the same time unless: you still would have traveled to the place where you were injured even if you didn't do any personal business or; you wouldn't have traveled to the place at all if you didn't have to do business for your employer.
As the employee, you must be able to prove your injury or injuries happened within the course and scope of your employment in order to receive damages. If you can't prove it, you can't receive any money.
If you are not using the vehicle for authorized company business, your employer's insurance is not responsible for your injury or injuries.
Examples of behavior that are not considered to be in the course and scope of employment includes: trying to hurt someone else on purpose, horseplay, using the vehicle after work hours for personal pleasure or driving while intoxicated.
Even if the injury occurred during the course and scope of employment, you are not entitled to money damages if you were found to be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
It’s important to know your rights when it comes to being injured on the job. If you've suffered an injury and need help, call the experienced attorneys at Justinian and Associates today.