Longstreet v. County of Mercer, (App.Div. June 20, 2017) (8pp.)
Submitted by New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
Modern technology has vastly improved safety technology in vehicles. This includes the use of GPS. Employers can now track a company vehicle’s movements, when it stops, how long it rests, and anywhere it goes. This vehicle-tracking technology is now making its way into evidence for Court proceedings. A recent case involving worker’s compensation provides us with an example.
In this case, an employee was snow plowing for Mercer County. Allegedly, the employee claimed he was injured while operating a road grader after hitting a manhole in the road. The grader’s blades were destroyed as a result. The employee returned the grader to be repaired. Afterwards, he drove his own vehicle.
The employee claimed he was injured as a result of hitting the manhole. During the proceedings, Mercer County had a GPS specialist testify as to the grader’s position during the time the employee alleged he was injured. The specialist testified the grader was parked during the time of the alleged accident, and was not used on that road until after the employee’s shift ended.
Despite a new trial being awarded, the important thing to take away from this case is that most employers now are tracking their commercial vehicles with GPS. All of your movements are tracked, especially during work hours. It is important to be mindful of this and to tell the truth when it comes to being injured on the job, otherwise you could lose your benefits.