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Georgia Court of Appeals Addressed Workers’ Compensation Ingress/Egress Rule

The Court of Appeals in Bonner-Hill v. Southland Waste Systems, A14A0931 (November 18, 2014), recently took the opportunity to further clarify the ingress/egress rule in workers’ compensation claims.

While injuries which occur while an individual is on the way to or from work are not compensable under workers’ compensation, the ingress/egress rule provides an exception to this rule and allows for an employee injured while on the employer’s premises in the act of going to or coming from his place of work to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In Bonner-Hill, Mr. Hill was killed on his way to work when his vehicle was struck by a train. The railroad tracks on which the accident occurred were located just inside the entrance road to the employer’s building. There was no alternate route for employees to get to the building.

The Court of Appeals noted that the determination of whether the ingress/egress rule applied required a factual inquiry into whether the location at which the injury occurred was considered a portion of the employer’s premises. Reversing the denial of workers’ compensation benefits, the Court of Appeals held that because the employer’s lease specifically stated that the premises included access to the property over the entrance road where the railroad crossing was located, Mr. Hill had arrived at the employer’s premises when the accident occurred and, therefore, the ingress/egress rule was triggered, entitling his wife and children to workers’ compensation benefits.

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