Earlier this week, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled against a woman who pressed for her right to receive workers compensation in connection with an accident in Morristown. The accident allegedly occurred while she was walking from a private parking garage to her office in the Morris County administration building. The car that hit her had run a red light and caused her serious injury.
In her workers compensation filing, the woman reported that she was hit by a car while at work. She based her claim on the fact that the parking garage was regularly used by employees, and so was on the employer’s premises. Unfortunately for her, the high court was unanimous is ruling that the woman was not entitled to workers’ compensation for the accident since it occurred on a public street and was not connected to her work.
In its explanation, the court said the garage was actually separate from the employer’s premises and that the accident occurred outside the context of her employment. This effectively reversed two prior decisions which ruled in her favor.
Workers compensation is an important benefit, and injured workers need to understand their rights when they are injured on the job. In some cases, employers choose not to cooperate in compensating an injured employee. When this happens, it can be helpful to work with an experienced attorney to determine whether there are any options for legal action. Though these efforts are not always successful, as this case shows, injured workers have the right to advocate for themselves.
Source: Nj.com, “NJ top court: Morris employee can’t get workers’ comp for accident off property,” Ben Horowitz, April 1, 2014.