Workers’ compensation is a system designed to ensure that workers that suffer work-related injuries have a financial cushion following their injuries. Most employers in New Jersey are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This no-fault system not only provides compensation for injured employees but also protects employers from being sued for compensation by their employees in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some occasions whereby injured workers can file personal injury lawsuits against their employers or third parties. Below we explore some of these instances.
In the Case of Intentional Harm
In many instances, employees cannot seek additional compensation from their employers outside of the workers’ compensation system. However, if your employer acted intentionally to cause your work accident, you may be able to seek additional compensation from your employer. This can be challenging because you will need to prove that your employer’s actions were intentional. You must show that your employer acted with the knowledge that their actions would result in injury or even death. For example, if your employer removed a safeguard from equipment that is an integral part of your role at work. If the lack of safeguard was shown to have caused your injury, your employer can be held responsible for your injuries as a result of intentional harm.
When there is intentional harm, you can sue your employer in a personal injury lawsuit. Through this lawsuit, you can pursue non-economic damages as well as punitive damages against your employer.
Holding Third Parties Liable
There are also instances when injured employees can hold third parties responsible for their injuries. Third parties may include the manufacturer of a product or equipment that caused your injuries or an outside contractor that was working on site and caused your injuries, distributors, subcontractors, and many more. However, if you want to sue a third party for damages, you must prove negligence. You should also be aware that if you have received workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries, your employer’s insurance provider can place a lien on any financial compensation you recover from the third party. The insurance company will do this in order to recover a portion of the amount that was paid as workers’ compensation benefits for the same damages.
When Your Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
While most employers are required by New Jersey Law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, some employers do not carry this insurance. If this is the case for your employer, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them to recover compensation for your damages. However, you can only do this in the instance that your employer was at fault. If there is no basis for pursuing a personal injury claim against your employer, you can join the NJ Uninsured Employers Fund. This will allow you to receive benefits for medical expenses as well as a temporary disability.
If you wish to explore options for recovering compensation as an injured worker outside the workers’ compensation system contact our law firm. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney from our law firm and learn about your rights and options.
Contact an Experienced Little Falls Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case
When you are forced to miss a significant amount of time at work due to an injury sustained there, it can be upsetting. It is not always simple to obtain the Workers’ Compensation benefits you are entitled to, even though New Jersey law is designed to give you coverage for lost wages and compensation for medical expenses. Because of this, you ought to discuss your circumstance with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to acquire advice on the claims procedure. Camili & Capo, PA’s skilled workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients in Little Falls, Hackensack, North Caldwell, New Brunswick, and other cities around New Jersey. To get a free consultation regarding your work injury case, contact us by phone at (973) 834-8457 or email. Our main office is located at 1 Lower Notch Road, Little Falls, NJ 07424, and we also have offices in Hackensack and New Brunswick, NJ.