Archive for May, 2013

The Basis for New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Jurisdiction

By Bruce P. Miller

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The basis for New Jersey Workers’ Compensation jurisdiction is primarily the place where the injured worker was hired and the place where the injured worker was injured.  In other words, if a worker was hired by the employer in New Jersey, but was injured in another state, New Jersey would still have Workers’ Compensation jurisdiction and thus, a worker could file his/her case in the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court and seek all available benefits under New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law.

If  the accident in which the employee was injured occurred in New Jersey, even if the worker was hired elsewhere or lived elsewhere, the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court would have jurisdiction and the case could be filed and pursued inNew Jerseyseeking all available Workers’ Compensation remedies.

The fact that the injured worker lived outside of New Jersey is irrelevant.

A third basis for New Jersey Workers’ Compensation jurisdiction, depending upon the nature of the employment, concerns whether most of the work done by the injured worker was performed in this state.  For example, our Courts have allowed New Jersey jurisdiction if the injured worker was a truck driver who performed most of his driving in this state and whose terminal was in New Jersey, even if he was hired and injured outside of New Jersey.  Moreover, what adds to the likelihood that the Courts would accept New Jersey Workers’ Compensation jurisdiction is if the injured worker garaged or parked his truck in this state, whether at his home or in a local facility.  If indeed, the bulk of the worker’s trips either began or ended inNew Jersey, that fact would be an important one to consider.

There are instances in which an injured worker has “joint jurisdiction” with respect to his/her Workers’ Compensation case.  If  both New Jersey and another state(s) has jurisdiction, cases can be pursued at the same time in both states.  For example, if somebody was hired in New Jersey, but injured inPennsylvania, that individual has the right to file and pursue Workers’ Compensation cases in both of those states, seeking the maximum benefits that can be paid under the laws of each state.  However, that does not mean there is a duplication of benefits.  For example, that injured worker can only be awarded temporary disability in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania, not in both.

The worker can obtain medical treatment that is the responsibility of the employer or its insurance company under the law of either state.  Therefore, if the Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability rate is higher in New Jersey, the worker can receive New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability benefits.  At the same time, if for example the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law is more generous with respect to Temporary Disability benefits or offering medical treatment, the worker can pursue that right by filing a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation case and pursuing remedies in the Pennsylvania Workers’Compensation Court.