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Hurt walking between your car and work: can you get compensation?

by | Apr 21, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

New Jersey law states that to qualify for workers’ compensation, an injury must have taken place in the course of a worker’s employment. Among other things, this generally means the worker must be performing their regular job duties at their job site at the time of the injury. This rule has been expanded to include injuries sustained in the employee parking lot in some cases.

But say the parking lot is across the street or several blocks away from the workplace. What happens if an employee is hit by a car or falls on a patch of ice while walking to work? A bill currently in the state Assembly would make injuries from these types of injuries compensable under workers’ comp.

Nurse denied workers’ comp after accident on the way to parking lot

This bill may have been a reaction to a 2019 decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division that went against a nurse in who was hit by a car. The nurse was walking to the parking lot rented by her employer  for employee parking in Jersey City after her shift when she was struck. The court ruled that since the woman’s injuries did not occur inside the hospital or in the parking lot, she did not qualify for workers’ compensation.

The state Senate approved this bill in January. As of mid-March, it was before the Assembly Labor Committee.

The logic of this bill

When an employee cannot control where their employer directs them to park or the path between the parking site and the workplace, it makes sense that this last part of their commute should be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Every case is fact sensitive, and the attorneys at Goldstein, Ballen, O’Rourke & Wildstein, P.C. know the right questions to ask to determine what the facts of your case mean for your claim.