Situations Where You May Not Be Limited to a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you’ve been hurt on the job, the first place you typically look for compensation for your losses is the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws. Under New Jersey law, if you have suffered an injury and it happened during the course of your employment, you have a right to pursue benefits. Your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company may tell you that you are limited to what you can recover in a workers’ compensation claim, but that may not be correct. In fact, there are times when you can bring a workers’ compensation action and a personal injury lawsuit simultaneously for the same workplace injury.
Under the New Jersey workers’ compensation program, you have a right to seek benefits for injuries caused by the carelessness or negligence of your employer or a co-worker. However, when you suffer injuries because of the carelessness of an unrelated third party, you are not limited to a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the at-fault driver was neither your employer nor a co-employee, you can file a separate civil lawsuit against that driver. Likewise, if you sustain an injury because of a dangerous or defective product manufactured by a third-party, or because of the negligence of an employee on an adjoining work site, you won’t be limited to a work comp claim.
It’s important to understand, though, that even though you can file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit at the same time, you cannot recover twice for the same injury or loss. For example, if your workers’ compensation claims covers all medical expenses, you can seek to recover those same losses in a civil action.
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At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Send us an e-mail or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.