It was recently decided that a New Jersey worker was entitled to benefits for what is considered a work-related injury received while she was working from an assigned parking spot to her workplace. It was decided in this decision that the employment for the worker actually begins when the worker arrives at their place of employment.

The worker in question was provided with assigned parking at a private parking garage two blocks away from where she actually worked. After she parked her car, she then was walking to her workplace and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the road. Because her injuries were considered work-related, the court decided that she was entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Workers' compensation is a very specialized practice of law, and the laws and rules regulating this particular area will determine whether an injured claimant is or is not eligible for such benefits. Not every attorney is well versed in this area of law, and it therefore can be beneficial for injured workers that understand both federal and New Jersey workers' compensation statutes, and to also understand the law behind personal injury cases.

The difference between workers' compensation injuries and other personal injury cases is that, in the former, injuries that are work-related are to be covered by the employer and the employer's workers' compensation carrier. Courts will inquire into whether the injury was work-related, but courts will not look into whether work-related activities were the fault of the employer or some other individual.

The reason why such cases are conducted in this manner is because employers set the terms of employment for the employee, and therefore we would like to provide incentives for employers to make work conditions safer.

Source: Risk & Insurance, "Worker wins comp for accident while walking from garage to work," September 20, 2012