Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Suffered while Traveling?
In New Jersey, if you’re hurt on the job, you have a right to seek benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. There are only two requirements to be eligible for payments—you must show that you suffered an injury, and you must prove that the injury was work-related. An injury is work-related if it occurs while you are completing tasks specifically related to your job or in the course of your employment.
With most workplace mishaps, there’s little question that the injury is work-related, e.g., a malfunctioning machine or tool causes injury, or you’re hurt in a slip-and-fall or by a falling object. In other situations, the determination is not as clear. One such situation is when you suffer injury while traveling for your job.
As a general rule, you cannot recover workers’ comp benefits for injuries sustained on your commute, either to or from work. There is an exception, however. If you take a detour from your normal route to perform a work-related task, then you can recover for injuries suffered during that detour. For example, if your boss asks you to stop and pick up bagels for the office, and you get in a car accident on your detour to or from the bagel shop, you should be able to collect workers’ compensation for any injuries.
If your work requires you to be on the road on a daily or periodic basis—whether to service sales accounts or attend conferences, training sessions, or conventions—you’re generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for motor vehicle accidents or other work-related injuries. However, if you engage in any wholly personal activities—for example, you go to the gym during lunch and get hurt on one of the exercise machines—you may not have a claim.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing, and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. We are currently available to talk with you by phone, text message, or videoconference. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.