FAQ: I was asked by my boss to hand deliver a package to a client on my way back from my lunch break. I was hit by a car while crossing the street. Can I get workers’ comp even though I was on my lunch break? If so, what benefits do I get?
Answer: Yes, you can. Even though you were on a lunch break, you will get workers’ comp benefits because you were delivering a package to a client for work.
In general, New Jersey workers who are injured while on personal lunch breaks are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. For example, an employee going to the food court who trips and gets injured cannot receive workers’ comp benefits. The reason is because the employee’s trip and fall accident did not occur while he was in the course and scope of employment.
However, in your situation, even though you were on a personal lunch break, your boss asked you to perform a job duty, i.e., deliver a package to a client on your way back from lunch. Therefore, you were in the course and scope of employment when you were delivering a package for work.
Related: New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law – Can Workers Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits if Injured While on Coffee Breaks?
In order to receive workers’ comp benefits, you must file a workers’ comp claim. Thus, the first thing you need to do is inform your employer of your accident as soon as possible to start the claim.
There are different benefits you are eligible to receive after being injured at work.
One of the benefits you are eligible to receive as a result of your NJ pedestrian-car accident is medical benefits. Therefore, your medical expenses are covered by workers’ comp. You do not have to pay out of pocket to see a doctor to treat for your injuries from the car accident. However, you can only seek treatment from the physicians and medical providers your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company tells you to go to. Reasonable medical treatments such as surgeries, rehabilitation services or other hospital services are covered by medical benefits.
Temporary Total Benefits (Wage Loss)
Another benefit you are eligible to receive is wage loss. If you cannot work as a result of your car and pedestrian accident, you are eligible to receive lost income payments for the time you missed from work. However, you can only receive wage loss benefits if you cannot work for more than 7 days. In addition, you only receive a portion of your lost pay and not 100%. You may receive these benefits until you are able to return to work or for the maximum duration of time you are allowed to receive temporary total benefits (400 weeks).
There are also other benefits you may receive. It is best that you talk to a NJ workers’ comp lawyer to discuss your benefits. Feel free to call our office to schedule a FREE consultation. 800.281.8695
Related: Injured at Work? Benefits You May Receive Under NJ’s Workers’ Compensation Act
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