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Was Your Injury Work-Related, Part II

Business Travel

Was Your Injury Work-RelatedAs we set forth in the first blog in this series, there are only two requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey. First, you must have been hurt or become ill, and second, the injury or illness must have occurred while you were on the job or been caused by events that occurred while you were performing work-related tasks. In many instances, it’s obvious whether your injuries were work-related, but there are some circumstances where it may not be as clear.

Injuries Sustained While Traveling for Business

If your job requires you to travel, whether periodically or on a daily basis, situations can arise where you may or may not qualify. As a general rule, if you are injured while traveling for work, you’re eligible for workers’ comp benefits. For example, if you’re driving to a client’s office for a meeting, or headed to the post office to mail work-related items, you’re entitled to benefits for any injuries sustained. You generally can’t get workers’ compensation for injuries suffered during your commute or while taking lunch off the premises. However, if you pick up food for others at the request of a supervisor, or engage in work-related tasks while on the road (for example, delivering a package or buying office supplies), any injuries sustained while engaged in those work-related activities are covered.

If you attend conferences, workshops, seminars or conventions for work, the following rules generally apply:

  • Injuries sustained on your way to and from the conference, or while traveling to and from conference events while there, are covered.
  • Injuries suffered in essential activities while at a conference—going out for dinner, attending sessions, etc.—are covered.
  • Injuries suffered while engaging in wholly personal activities—going to a health club, visiting Disneyland or other tourist attractions—are not covered.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, or videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Was Your Injury Work-Related?

In New Jersey, when you suffer an injury or contract an illness at work, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits, provided you can prove that the injury or illness happened during the normal course of your duties. In some situations, it may be unclear as to whether you actually were on the job.

Injuries Suffered While on a Break

State and federal labor laws require breaks when employees work a certain number of hours. As a general rule, if you’re taking a break on your employer’s premises at the time you’re injured, you’re entitled to worker’s comp. For example, if you slip on a wet floor in the break room, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation.

There are exceptions, though. If you suffer injury on break while engaging in horseplay, or otherwise violating company rules, you will likely be denied benefits.

Injuries Suffered While at Lunch

If you eat your lunch onsite, whether you bring your own or eat in a company lunch room or cafeteria, you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries that occur during your lunch break. However, if you leave the premises for a meal, any injuries suffered while you are off the grounds are not covered, unless you also are performing errands at the request of a supervisor. If your boss asks you to get lunch for others or go to the post office, for example, your trip is considered work-related, and you’re be entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries you suffer.

Injuries Suffered During Your Commute

You cannot recover for injuries suffered on your drive to or from work unless you divert from your normal route to take care of business for your employer.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, or videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

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