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Why workers’ compensation might not cover you on personal errands

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Workers Compensation |

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees injured during their employment.

However, there are situations where workers’ compensation might not cover an injury. One is when the injury occurs while the employee is running a personal errand during work hours.

Work-related activities

For an injury to get coverage under workers’ compensation in New Jersey, it must occur while the employee is doing work-related activities. The injury must happen while the employee is performing tasks that benefit the employer or are within the scope of their job responsibilities. For example, a delivery driver injured while making deliveries for their employer would typically be covered.

Personal errands and workers’ compensation

A personal errand is an activity not related to the employee’s job duties or responsibilities. If a pizza delivery driver decides to run a personal errand during their work hours and gets injured, workers’ compensation may not cover the injury.

The coming and going rule

The coming and going rule is an important concept in workers’ compensation. It states that injuries sustained while commuting to or from work are generally not covered. Similarly, if an employee deviates from their work route to run a personal errand and gets injured, this rule can be applied to dispute or deny workers’ compensation benefits.

Proving the injury was work-related

If an injury occurs during a personal errand, it can be challenging to show that it happened while performing job duties. Employers and insurance companies often require detailed information about the circumstances of the injury to determine whether it qualifies for workers’ compensation coverage.

Unfortunately, employers and their insurance providers may argue that an injury occurred during a personal errand as a basis to deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. Careful documentation can help employees protect themselves under workers’ compensation laws.