In New Jersey, workers’ compensation laws govern how an employee may recover after suffering an on-the-job injury. In most cases, an employee is entitled to recovery for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from work-related illness or injury. In exchange for providing workers with a system for recovery, workers’ compensation laws also limit how much and from whom an injured worker may recover. For instance, in most situations, an employee is not entitled to the right to sue the employer or a co-worker for a work-related injury, although certain exceptions apply for intentionally inflicted injuries. New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws usually do not, however, limit an employee’s rights when it comes to suing a third party who may be responsible for the injury.
Motor vehicle accidents are common situations in which employees may file suit against third parties for work-related injuries. When an employee’s normal job duties include driving, and the employee is injured while on the job due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness, he or she likely retains the right to sue the other driver for expenses and damages related to the injuries. Likewise, when a workspace is owned by a third party instead of the employer, employees injured due to poor upkeep of the facilities may be able to bring suit against the property owner.
Knowing when to file a lawsuit rather than seeking a workers’ compensation claim can make a great deal of difference in how the employee is compensated. Workers’ compensation laws place limits on the amount of recovery available for many types of injuries, whereas a lawsuit may allow for greater compensation. A lawsuit can also provide an employee with a way to recover punitive damages in situations where injury was intentionally inflicted or due to someone else’s egregious conduct.
Depending on the situation, it may be difficult for an injured employee to identify who may be legally responsible for work-related injuries. Even if the employee can easily identify the responsible party, however, further legal analysis may be necessary in order to determine whether or not the right to sue exists. As a result, it is important for an injured employee to quickly seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. With a lawyer’s assistance, you may be able to reach a quick and efficient resolution to your injury by making use of workers’ compensation laws or receive greater compensation by filing a lawsuit against the party who is responsible for your injury.