Workers' compensation benefits are available for people who have suffered a wide range of injures at work. The types of injuries that come to most people's minds are broken bones or repetitive stress injuries, for example.
But virtually any type of injury can result in a workplace accident, even dog bite injuries.
The question is, if a dog bite happens at work, does workers' compensation apply?
Workers' compensation and dog bites at work
For workers who do their jobs in the open air, getting bitten by a dog is certainly a possibility. Postal workers and delivery people who make house calls, for example, are often the victims of dog attacks.
Landscape workers who have to enter residential yards are also in danger of being attacked by a household pet.
Fortunately, if you get bit by a dog in New Jersey during the course of your employment duties, you can probably receive workers' compensation benefits - that is, if your employer is insured. Since workers' compensation is 'no-fault,' it doesn't matter who owned the dog or how the dog attack happened. All that matters is that you were on-duty and working at the time of the incident.
Third-party claims for dog bites at work
If the dog owner is not your employer, you may be able to file an additional personal injury claim against the owner of the animal. Under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 4:19-16, New Jersey law states that animal owners are strictly liable for dog bites that happen to people who are on public property or have lawfully entered private property.
Do you need to file a workers' compensation claim for a dog bite?
The medical care expenses to treat a dog bite can be costly. Even a quick trip to a hospital emergency room to get a few stitches could represent thousands of dollars in medical bills.
If you or a loved suffered a dog bite injury - whether at work or not - a New Jersey personal injury attorney can evaluate your potential claim for damages, as well as the possibility of filing a workers' compensation claim.