Determining If Your Accident Was Work-Related—Part Two
By Andrew R. Bronsnick
There are two requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in the state of New Jersey—you must have been hurt and the injury must have been “work-related.” Some injuries suffered during a work break may not be compensable, and some injuries sustained while traveling may be excluded.
There are other circumstances where an injury may or may not be covered by workers’ compensation:
- Injuries incurred at a company-sponsored event—Whether it’s a golf outing or a team-building event, such as a ropes course, the general rule is that injuries sustained at company initiated and sponsored events are covered under workers’ compensation laws, unless the activities the injured person was engaged in were outside a reasonable standard of care. For example, if you are horsing around at a golf outing and you fall into a water hazard or trip on a sprinkler, you may be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you were drunk at the time and your employee provided the alcohol, you may have a right to benefits.
- Injuries caused by your own wrongful acts—Technically, the workers’ compensation laws are applied without respect to fault. Often, even if you were in clear and intentional violation of company safety policies, you can still seek workers’ compensation benefits. You cannot, however, recover for any injuries that are self-inflicted, though you can seek compensation for the aggravation of a pre-existing injury.