In New Jersey most accidents which occur while an employee is commuting to or from work are not considered to be work related (compensable) and are therefore not covered by the Worker’s Compensation Act. This is generally known as the “Going and Coming Rule.” This rule generally holds that employment doesn’t begin until an employee arrives on the premises of his or her employer and ends when the employee leaves the premises. Accidents which occur between home and the place of employment are not compensable.
There are, of course, certain exceptions to this rule. Some of these exceptions involve parking areas and the route to and from the parking lot used by an employee and the actual place of employment. For example, if the employee parks in a lot which is used by the general public and is not specifically for the use of employees, accidents which occur in that lot are usually not compensable. However, if the lot is owned or controlled by the employer or if the employee is directed to park in a given area the accident may be held to be compensable. This is just one example.
In view of the numerous situations which may be considered in determining if an accident is or is not compensable an injured worker should always consult an experienced workers compensation attorney when faced with such an accident. The compensation attorneys here at Stark & Stark are experienced in these issues and always ready to assist you in your claim.