Was Your Injury Work-Related?
Part Two—Work-Related Travel
As we discussed in our last blog, there are only two requirements in New Jersey to qualify for workers’ compensation—you must prove you were hurt and that the injury happened while you were on the job. In the previous blog, we discussed whether injuries sustained on breaks are covered by workers’ compensation. In this blog, we’ll look at injuries suffered while traveling for work.
The first thing to understand is that injuries incurred on your commute to or from work generally are not covered by worker’s compensation. There are exceptions, however. If you deviate from your normal commute route to perform a work-related task—for example, stoppingat the post office to pick up company mail or buying donuts for coworkers—any injuries sustained on the detour may be covered, provided you were doing the task at the request of a supervisor. In addition, if your job requires you to be on the road—for example, as a salesman to visit customers—you may be covered for injuries suffered on the way to your first appointment of the day, provided it’s not on the path to your office.
If you are required to travel to a conference, convention, training, workshop, seminar, or business meeting where you stay overnight, you may be able to claim workers’ compensation for injuries suffered while there. For example, if you slip and fall in the lobby of the hotel where the conference is being held, you’ll likely qualify for workers’ compensation, as you have to go to the hotel to attend the conference. However, if you decide to use the hotel gym and suffer an injury lifting weights, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation, as that’s a purely optional activity and not essential to your time there.
As with any workers’ compensation claim, there are certain actions that potentially disqualify you from eligibility for benefits. If your injuries are intentionally self-inflicted, or if you engage in behavior or activity that in violation of established company rules or policies, you may be deemed ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Gregg A. Wisotsky, Partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC
I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary assessment of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.