It sounds like something out of a television drama: Your beeper rang, and you struggled to get out of bed as fast as you could. You know now that it was just bad luck that you were the on-call doctor—after all, anyone could have been hit by a car in the middle of the night—but the fact that you were on your way into surgery at Morristown Medical Center makes the situation even worse.
And if you thought the accident wasn’t fair, it’s nothing compared to dealing with the insurance company who is refusing to pay for your injuries.
When Injuries Suffered Off-the-Clock Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Payment
Normally, an injury that a worker suffers while on his way to or from work does not qualify for worker's compensation. However, there are exceptions if your responsibilities demand that you be in a number of locations, or stay in the course of your employment after-hours. For instance:
- Injury after close of business. Many workers have suffered injuries just before they have gone home for the day, such as an employee taking out the trash on his way to his car, or restocking retail shelves after doors have been closed and locked.
- Injury in the course of business. In some cases, employees must travel from non-company locations in the service of their employer, such as making trips to off-site storage areas while not technically on-the-clock.
- Injury outside working hours. Most worker’s comp coverage is extended to workers for a short time before and after their regular shifts. If an employee comes in a few minutes early and is injured in the changing room, he is still on company property for work purposes, and should be covered.
- Recreational activities that benefit employers. Some injuries may be covered if you are doing an activity on your own time that benefits your clients or employer. For example, many firefighters and policemen are covered by workers' compensation for injuries sustained in physical training or fitness classes, even if the training takes place at the employee’s own gym facility.
It is important that you get as much information as you can before filing a worker’s comp case in New Jersey. Download our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide, or start telling us about your case in the chat box at the bottom of this page.