ADVERSE REACTIONS TO COVID 19 VACCINE MAY BE COMPENSABLE UNDER NEW JERSEY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW
December 28, 2020
Submitted by New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the nation. Little is known about the full effects of the vaccines, and as time progresses, we will begin to know more about the effectiveness and possible side effects and adverse reactions. A big question for Workers’ Compensation law in New Jersey is whether an adverse reaction to a vaccine administered for employment purposes is compensable.
There is little case law on the subject, with most recent cases dating back to the administration of the small pox vaccine. However, changes to Workers’ Compensation law have made it clear that social activities are not compensable unless the employee can show the activity is a regular incident of employment and promotes a benefit beyond improvement of health and morale.
The key question is whether the vaccine is mandated by your employer, or if it is voluntary. If it is mandated, most likely an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine will be compensable. If an employer makes receiving the vaccine voluntary, there is a good chance that an adverse reaction will not be compensable under New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law.
There is one exception to this, and that is that if a first responder or public safety worker is has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, it is presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment for Workers’ Compensation purposes. This presumption is rebuttable, but it is a strong presumption nonetheless.
If you receive a coronavirus vaccine for the purposes of your employment and you suffer from an adverse reaction, you should contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney – whether the vaccine was mandatory or voluntary. It is important to discuss the details of your situation, as it may result in compensation for your injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, you need to make sure you contact a workers’ compensation attorney with experience today. These attorneys can answer all of your questions regarding temporary benefits, medical bill payments, permanent injury, and the nuances of workers’ compensation law. Do not hesitate to contact Hark & Hark today to discuss your personal injury.
For workers’ compensation and personal injury matters, you pay nothing upfront, and our fee is paid as a percentage of your recovery. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties.