Injuries Suffered on a Break | Injuries While Traveling
To qualify for workers’ compensation in New Jersey, you must prove only two elements of a claim: that you were injured and that the injury was “work-related.” There is no need to establish that your employer failed to act reasonably or engaged in negligence. There are, however, a number of situations where it may be uncertain whether or not your injured occurred during the course of your duties.
Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation If You Are Injured on a Break at Work?
Though neither federal nor state law require that an employer allow periodic work breaks (unless the worker is under the age of 18), it’s fairly common for employers to allow workers to take regular 15-minute breaks or even a meal break. When you’re on a break, you’re not actively engaged in the tasks related to your job. Suppose you slip and fall in the breakroom? Can you pursue work comp benefits for any lost work time or unreimbursed medical expenses?
As a general rule, an employee who suffers an injury during a break may qualify for workers’ compensation, provided he remains on company property during the break. A worker who leaves the premises on a lunch or other type of break will typically not be eligible for workers’ compensation, unless he or she engaged in activities for the benefit of the employer or co-workers while off premises. For example, if the worker takes a package to the post office for the employer or picks up lunch for other workers who stayed behind, he or she may still be eligible.
Can You Pursue Work Comp If You Were Injured While Traveling?
As a general rule, a worker who is injured on a commute to or from work is ineligible for workers’ compensation, unless he or she took a detour from the normal route to do something for the employer. An employee who is injured while traveling to a conference or to meet with clients/customers will be eligible for workers’ compensation unless he or she was engaged in a wholly personal activity at the time of the injury. For example, an employee who is injured lifting weights in the hotel gym while at a convention will likely be ineligible for work comp benefits.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of workplace injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.