Recovering Worker’s Compensation for a Motor Vehicle Accident
When a machine malfunctions at work and you are injured, there seems no question that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation. If the wrongful conduct of another employee causes you injury, you can also seek compensation for your losses. But what if you are injured in a car or motor vehicle accident, especially when the person causing the accident is unrelated to your employer? The good news—if you meet certain conditions, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits. You may even be able to seek damages in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.
At the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger, we advocate for people who have been hurt at work. To schedule a private meeting, contact us online or call us at (732) 410-6094. Your first consultation is free.
Qualifying For Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Under New Jersey law, if you were performing a job-related task while traveling in a motor vehicle, you will likely be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the road because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. If you are required to drive as a part of your employment, or if your employer asked you to travel to or from a particular location, any injuries sustained in an accident will be covered, unless your employer can show that you took an unnecessary detour to attend to personal business.
It is not necessary that you demonstrate that the route you took was the most direct route. You need only show that the path you took was reasonable. For example, if you took back roads to avoid traffic congestion, your employer cannot argue that you should not have been there, and are not entitled to benefits. If, however, your employer can show that you did not take the most reasonable route, and that you did so for strictly personal reasons (to stop to see a friend or to pick up an unnecessary personal item), you may not be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to replace compensation you would have received for the wrongful acts of your employer or a co-worker. If you are injured by an unrelated third party, such as the driver of another vehicle, your claim against that driver is not limited by workers’ compensation laws. You can file what is known as a “third party claim,” seeking damages in court for your losses.
Contact Mallon & Tranger
We offer a free initial consultation to people in New Jersey who have suffered a personal injury related to work. To set up a meeting, contact us online or call us at (732) 410-6094 for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.