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Police Officer entitled to Workers Compensation

The general law is that an individual who is going to or coming home from work is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when involved in an accident during his or her commute. This is in accordance with the New Jersey Supreme Court decision of Perry v. State of New Jersey. However, in this particular case, a police officer was assigned to a “detail” which happened to be outside the city where he worked. After the detail was over, he was driving his police issued vehicle home when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Under the “special mission” exception to the going and coming exclusionary rule, a successful argument was made that the officer should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even though he was traveling home. The matter was settled after three days of testimony.

This obviously establishes a strong argument/precedent that when a police officer is assigned to a detail above and beyond his regular duty assignment, he is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for any accident that occurs on the way to or coming home from that detail assignment.

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