Most employers in New Jersey are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. If employees are injured while working, workers’ compensation benefits may cover injured employees’ medical expenses and lost wages. Workers’ compensation insurance also protects employers from having to cover these expenses themselves.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, an employee’s injuries must be compensable. Here are the three main factors that make a work injury compensable:
#1: The injury happened to an employee
Even if you have a work arrangement with an employer, you are not considered an employee if you are an independent contractor or a vendor. Find out your employment status to determine whether you are covered under workers’ compensation insurance.
#2: The injury occurred during employment
Workers’ compensation insurance only covers injuries that resulted from work activities. If you injured yourself on your drive home from work, this would not be compensable. Injuries that you sustained on your worksite while working are usually always compensable.
#3: The injury caused damages to the employee
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must be able to show that a work-related injury caused you real damages. In other words, the injury resulted in medical expenses, lost wages or permanent impairment.
Learn what work-related injuries are not compensable
There are certain exceptions that could disqualify a worker for workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if an employee was drunk when an accident occurred, the employee’s injuries wouldn’t be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Work injuries that are sustained while employees are engaging in horseplay are also not qualified for workers’ compensation benefits.