Travel is often a special case in workers’ compensation law, and there are several definitions of a “work trip” to consider.
Here are the different cases you might encounter and how workers’ compensation handles each one.
Injured on an Overnight Trip
If your employer requires you to go on an overnight trip of any kind, such as for a conference, for training, or to meet with clients, then in New Jersey, you should be covered under workers’ compensation for any injuries sustained for the entire duration of the trip.
It doesn’t matter that you won’t be working the entire time. They sent you out of your home city, so they have to cover you until the trip is over: from the time you get on the plane to the time you get off it.
Driving is Part of Your Job
If your car or your company car serves as your workplace, then you are eligible for workers’ compensation so long as you are on the job.
If you’re on break or lunch, you are still covered because the courts have ruled employees who travel most of the day for work have the same right to lunch and breaks that office employees would.
Yet you should be careful. If you travel very far out of your way, the courts may rule that your trip has transformed into a “personal errand” and deny benefits.
Sometimes you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are on-call, but the rules surrounding this type of employment are complex. It will often depend on whether your injury arose directly as a result of your on-call status or not.
If injured while on-call, you should report the injury to your employer, document it, and seek medical attention just as you would for any on-the-job injury. Be prepared to get a lawyer, as your employer is likely to argue you weren’t “really” on the job or that the accident was exempt under New Jersey’s “coming and going” rule.
If your boss sends you on a quick errand to the post office or to a coffee shop to pick up snacks for a meeting, you are still “on the job.” You are covered for the entire time you travel to and from the office so long as you go straight to the object of the errand and come straight back.
If you stop to conduct personal business during that time, your injury may not be covered.
Get Help Today
All workers’ compensation law is complicated. If you’ve been injured on the job, we can provide legal help to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.
Contact us to schedule a free case review today.