UNDERSTANDING THIRD-PARTY LIABILITY CLAIMS

If you are injured at the workplace, you may already be considering filing a workers' compensation insurance claim. Although workers' comp benefits are usually your only option when it comes to receiving medical and financial assistance, in certain cases you may also be able to sue a third party for its role in your injury and the resulting damages you suffer. 

New Jersey laws protect many employers by preventing legal action from an injured employee in many situations. However, if another entity or individual directly caused an accident or injury or contributed to its likelihood, the worker can often file a personal injury lawsuit against that third party. Consider the following examples:

  • If a truck driver is hit by another car while on the job, he or she could likely sue the negligent car driver who caused the accident in addition to receiving workers' compensation benefits from his or her employer.
  • In a workplace accident caused by a defective product or piece of machinery, the employee injured from its use could sue the product manufacturer for damages.

If the injured person can prove that a third party was at fault, the court may award him or her damages that he or she cannot pursue through a workers' compensation claim, such as consideration for physical and emotional pain and suffering. Workers' comp only provides reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses.

It's important to consider your full range of options for obtaining compensation after you're injured at work. Depending on the details of your case, your attorney can advise you whether to seek New Jersey workers' compensation benefits, personal injury damages or some combination.

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The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

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