It is quite common for employees to sustain injuries while driving during the course of their employment. Examples include individuals who actually drive for a living such as delivery truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi or limousine drivers or individuals who need to travel from location to location to visit clients. The employee involved in the accident will be entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits in New Jersey regardless of fault. Such accident related injuries are compensable under New Jersey’s Worker’s Compensation Law. And, if the accident is the result of a third party’s fault, the injured worker may be entitled to pursue a third party claim in addition to the Worker’s Compensation cliam.
A prime example of this type of case was recently argued in the New Jersey Appellate Division Court case entitled Contreras v. The City of New Brunswick A-3431- 08T1. The Court’s decision was reached on February 18, 2010 and involved a New Brunswick Police Officer who was injured while in the course of his employment while on patrol and operating a vehicle in the City of New Brunswick. Another vehicle ran a stop sign and struck the officer’s vehicle. The officer sustained multiple injuries that include facial fractures and lacerations, a left biceps tendon tear and knee contusions as well. The facial injuries resulted in blurred vision. The officer filed a worker’s compensation claim with his employer and a third party claim against the operator of the vehicle that caused the accident. At issue in this case was the permanent nature of the injury and if the injury caused the officer to “suffer a lessening to a material degree of his working ability.” The Court ruled that the blurred vision and sensitivity to light has caused the officer to work more night shifts when there is less light that will strain his eyes. In addition, The Court ruled that the fractures to facial bones and eventual knee surgery materially decreased his working ability.
As is clear from this decision, there are many, many factors to consider when evaluating if a work injury is compensable. If you have been injured during the course of your employment, you may be entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits. Contact an experienced New Jersey worker’s compensation attorney at the Princeton office of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today for a free consultation. The Princeton Worker’s Compensation law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. can put its Worker’s Compensation experience to work on your behalf. Contact an attorney at the Princeton office of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today and learn the benefits available to you.