The New Jersey workers’ compensation laws were enacted to provide an alternative to the civil courts when workers suffered injury because of the carelessness or negligence of employers or fellow workers. Accordingly, when an employer fails to properly maintain equipment, or does not provide adequate training and supervision, and you suffer injury, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and, if your claim is approved, start receiving benefits within a few weeks.
The reality, though, is that many people travel as a part of their jobs and many “work-related” injuries are suffered in motor vehicle accidents while employees are on company time. Can you file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries suffered in a car accident while on the clock? If so, are you limited to seeking benefits through a workers’ compensation claim?
The rules governing eligibility for workers’ compensation for motor vehicle accident injuries are pretty clear:
- You cannot recover for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident on your way to or from work, unless you were injured because you deviated from your route to perform a work-related task (pick up supplies or food/beverages at the request of a supervisor)
- Injuries sustained during work hours are generally covered, unless you were in a vehicle for a purely personal activity
It’s important to understand, however, that you can file a workers’ compensation and a personal injury lawsuit simultaneously, provided at least one at-fault party was neither your employer nor a co-employee. You cannot, however, recover twice for the same loss. If you received workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages and income, you cannot recover the same lost wages and income in a separate proceeding before a judge and jury.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options after a car accident during work hours, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.