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volunteer Credit: mangostock/Shutterstock.com

A vast majority of New Jersey’s municipalities offer volunteer positions within their communities. These volunteer opportunities are routinely coordinated and managed through a municipality. Whether one serves as a volunteer at a senior center, at a library, at a special event such as a community day, maintaining local gardens or at an animal shelter, volunteer opportunities are abundant throughout the state. It is indisputable that volunteers provide valuable functions for municipalities as well as the people they serve. But what are the obligations of a municipality if a volunteer gets hurt while volunteering? Does this trigger the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act N.J.S.A. 34:15 et seq.? This question is not only relevant to the municipal attorney who most likely will get the first call from the municipality, but also for the attorney from whom the injured volunteer seeks assistance.

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