Can You File a Civil Lawsuit after a Workplace Accident?
In New Jersey, as in other states, when you have suffered an injury on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim, seeking payment for lost wages, as well as all reasonable and necessary medical expenses arising out of your accident or injury. The benefits available through a work comp claim may not, however, be sufficient to cover all your losses. After all, with a workers’ compensation claim, you won’t get any damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, or loss of enjoyment of life. Workers’ compensation, though, is commonly referred to as your “exclusive remedy” after a workplace accident. Does that mean you cannot recover compensation through any other means? Not necessarily.
Third Party Claims in Work-Related Accidents
The provisions of the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws are intended to provide a means for recovering compensation for the wrongful acts of your employer or a co-worker. When you have suffered injury on the job, in whole or in part, because of the carelessness or negligence of an unrelated third party, you are not required to seek compensation from that third party in a work comp claim. You can bring a personal injury lawsuit against such a party in civil court.
In fact, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit simultaneously—you cannot, however, recover the same losses in both actions. If your medical expenses were covered by workers’ compensation, you cannot recoup those losses in a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact the Cintron Firm
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. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.