Archives for June 2017

work-related-injuries-part-twoAs we explained in an earlier blog, to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey, you must meet two requirements—you must have been injured, and that injury must have been sustained during the course of your employment. Clearly, if you are on the clock and performing any of the duties listed in your job description, you’ll likely qualify for workers’ compensation for any injuries suffered. But there are situations where there may be questions about whether your injury was work-related.

In an earlier blog, we looked at whether you can recover workers’ compensation benefits when you are hurt at company outing or because of your own wrongdoing. In this blog, we look at your eligibility if you suffer injury on a break or while traveling for your employer.

Injuries Incurred on a Break

Under labor laws, you are entitled to take regular breaks, including a lunch break. Can you collect workers’ compensation benefits if you slip and fall while punched out for lunch or a scheduled break? Does it matter if you leave the company grounds?

Generally speaking, if you suffer an injury on company property while on a lunch or other break, you will be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. There are exceptions—if you were involved in some time of unauthorized or forbidden horseplay at the time, you may be disqualified. If, on the other hand, you leave the physical premises of your employer for lunch, you generally won’t be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered at or on the way to or from the restaurant, unless you went to the specific destination to pick up food for your boss or at the request of a supervisor.

Injuries While Traveling

As a general rule, you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained on your commute to or from work, unless you took a detour to complete a task at the request of a supervisor (your boss asked you to pick up bagels or stop at the post office). If your job requires that you drive to see customers, or if you travel to conferences, workshops or seminars for work, you will generally be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are hurt, unless the activity you were engaged in was wholly or primarily personal. For example, if you are hurt on the way to or from a meal, you are probably covered, but if you go to a night club while at a convention and hurt yourself on the dance floor, that probably won’t be covered.

Contact Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we have more than 70 years of combined experience representing injured workers across New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call us at 856-200-8989.

We handle all workers’ compensation claims on a contingency basis. You won’t pay any legal fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

work-related-injuries-part-oneIn New Jersey, as in other states, when you suffer an injury at work, you are entitled to pursue workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages, medical expenses and other costs. There are only two requirements to qualify for benefits—you must have been injured and your injury must have occurred during the course of your employment. In most instances, there is no dispute that you were injured at work. But there are circumstances where the rules may not be so clear. Here are a couple of those instances.

Injuries Incurred at a Company Event

Suppose your company sponsors an event—a golf outing or a picnic—and you slip and fall at the outing, sustaining injuries that prevent you from working. In most instances, whether attendance at the event was voluntary or mandatory, you’ll have the right to seek and recover workers’ compensation benefits for injuries you have suffered. There are exceptions, however, if your behavior was unreasonable. For example, if you become inebriated at a company event and get behind the wheel of a car, you may be precluded from recovering workers’ compensation benefits if you are involved in a car accident, unless you can show that the company provided the alcohol.

Injuries Caused by Your Own Wrongful Conduct

What if your injuries were caused, in part, by your own negligence or carelessness? Typically, that won’t prevent you from recovering workers’ compensation benefits, as workers’ compensation laws are “no fault” statutes, meaning benefits are available regardless of fault. However, if it can be shown that you intentionally injured yourself to collect benefits or recklessly disregarded company rules, your claim can be rejected.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

We represent clients in workers’ compensation proceedings on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge you attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.