Can I File a Third-Party Lawsuit Along with a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
After you sustain an injury on the job in New Jersey, your main source of compensation for medical bills and lost income is your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. New Jersey law requires employers to carry this insurance to protect workers, and in exchange for no-fault benefits, injured workers do not have the right to sue their employers for negligence.
However, workers’ compensation benefits can cover much less than a personal injury lawsuit might, as workers’ comp does not provide any compensation for pain and suffering or other intangible losses. For this reason, it is important to let a New Jersey personal injury attorney evaluate whether you might also have a viable third-party lawsuit arising from your work injuries.
This lawsuit would be in addition to your workers’ comp claim, so you can maximize the financial recovery that you receive. The following are only some examples of scenarios that might lead to a third-party lawsuit.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
One of the most common situations in which you can file a third-party claim is motor vehicle accidents that happen while you are working. If you are driving as part of your job duties, and another driver crashes into you and causes you injuries, that negligent driver should be liable for your losses. You can file a claim against their insurance or file a lawsuit in court to seek damages for all of your losses.
Many jobs involve the use of various products made by third-party manufacturers. For example, if you use a drill at your construction job, that drill is almost certainly made by a company other than your employer. Products used at work can go far beyond tools; consider, for example, desk chairs, company vehicles, document shredders, copying machines, or cleaning equipment. If a defective product causes your injury while you are at work, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or retailer of that product.
Not everyone on a worksite is an employee of your employer. Many sites have contractors hired by the company but who are not employees. When a contractor is negligent, and their conduct leads to your injuries, you can file a claim against them directly. Contractors might allow hazards or fail to follow safety regulations, and they should be held accountable for the harm and losses that result from their negligence. The same goes for any non-employee that causes injuries while you are working, as well as clients or others involved with your employer.
Speak with a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away
If you have been injured in a workplace accident that involved a third party, it’s possible that you are entitled to compensation beyond your workers’ compensation benefits. At Leonard Legal Group, we will review your case for free and let you know about all of your legal options. Contact us or call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation.