Can I get NJ workers’ comp benefits even though my injury at work was not related to my job?

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When New Jersey workers are injured while at work, they may receive workers’ comp benefits pursuant to New Jersey workers’ compensation law. Your question is actually often asked by many injured New Jersey workers. Though many at work accidents are related to the workers’ jobs, such as a roofer falling from the roof of a building he is fixing, many at work accidents are not related to the workers’ actual jobs. For those injured workers, they often do not know that they may receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Though you did not provide the details regarding your accident, I will answer your question through a hypothetical.

Office Administrative Assistant Injured in a Trip and Fall Accident at the Office

An administrative assistant’s job responsibilities may require him to answer phones, schedule appointments and perform accounting work. On his way to the bathroom, he trips over an electrical cord on the floor and hurts his back. He has a herniated disc in his back as a result of his trip and fall accident. Though his accident did not happen while he was carrying out his job responsibilities, he nevertheless sustained a work-related accident. Therefore, he is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Any reasonable medical expenses related to his injury will be paid for by his employer’s workers’ comp carrier. In addition, if he is unable to work, he may receive temporary disability benefits.

Related: Injured at Work? Benefits You May Receive Under NJ’s Workers’ Compensation Act

Notice to Employers After Work-Related Accidents in NJ

An important issue related to being eligible for workers’ comp benefits is telling your employer that you were injured. When accidents are not actually related to workers’ job responsibilities, many workers do not know they may receive benefits. As a result, they do not report their injuries to their employers. When injured workers find out they can receive benefits, they may still not report the accidents to their employers because they are confused about the notice requirement. They may think that they can no longer report their accidents because they didn’t do so immediately after the accidents and think they are out of luck. This is simply not true.

Pursuant to NJ worker’s comp law, injured workers have 90 days to inform their employers about their work-related injuries or illnesses. However, the law encourages workers to report the accidents as soon as possible. Further, if notice is provided after 14 days or 30 days, injured workers may have to show that their failure to give notice was due to mistake, ignorance of the law etc., as provided in NJ workers’ comp law. In addition, workers may not receive benefits if employers are able to show that they were prejudiced in some way. See NJ Workers’ Compensation Law – When Should You Report a Work-Related Injury?

It is important that you speak to a NJ workers’ comp lawyer if you do not know whether you can receive workers’ comp benefits or when to give notice.

Call my office and I would be more than happy to answer your questions.

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