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Can I File a Third-Party Lawsuit for a Work-Related Injury?

Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Apr 24, 2018  in Workers' Compensation News

worker holding yellow helmetWorkers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that pays for your medical treatment and provides partial lost wages after you have been injured in a work-related accident. In return, employees are prohibited from suing their employer.

However, there may be instances where an employee can file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party for additional compensation.

If you believe a third party is responsible for your work-related injury, contact Lynch Law Firm’s New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as possible. We have helped numerous victims of negligence obtain the compensation they need after an accident. Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you may be entitled to additional compensation after a work-related accident.

When Is a Third Party Liable for a Workplace Accident?  

Typically, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws prevent employees from suing their employer after being injured in a work-related accident.

However, if a worker is injured in a workplace accident involving a third party, he or she may be able to file an additional personal injury lawsuit against the other party.

Some common factors that may allow an injured worker to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit include:

Car Accidents

Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of work-related injuries. Many work-related injuries occur when an employee is driving for a work-related purpose and another party negligently causes an accident.

The injured worker may be delivering a package for his or her employer or completing a work-related errand when he or she is struck by another driver. In these situations, the employee may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with his or her employer, as well as a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.

Property Hazards

Often, workers are subjected to several different types of work environments where they are at risk of being injured by a dangerous hazard located on the property.

Some potential hazards that may cause injury to workers include:

  • Slipping on icy walkways
  • Tripping over uneven floors
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Falling down broken stairways
  • Tripping over a hazard because of poor lighting
  • Slipping on liquids on a floor that have not been cleaned up

If the property was in a dangerous condition, the injured worker might be able to sue the property owner or property manager who was responsible for preventing dangerous conditions from occurring.

Faulty Equipment or Defective Products

Workers often handle heavy equipment and dangerous machinery to complete a task. It is imperative these products work as intended and do not pose a serious threat to workers when handled properly.

However, if a worker is injured by faulty equipment or a defective product, he or she may be entitled to file a third-party injury claim against the device’s manufacturer.

Subcontractors

If you are a subcontractor and not an official employee, you may not be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. Instead you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer that hired you to perform a specific job.

Likewise, if you were hired by a general contractor, he or she may be held liable for your injury. General contractors are usually required to maintain a safe environment for everyone working on the site, including for subcontractors.

Compensation from a Third-Party Lawsuit

If there was a party independent of your employer that contributed to your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for additional compensation, such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of reputation
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship

Can I File a Third-Party Lawsuit and a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

New Jersey’s workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system, which means you do not have to prove your employer was at fault for your injury to receive benefits. However, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for causing your injury.

On the other hand, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a third-party does not prevent you from being able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.  

Do not hesitate to contact a skilled attorney to discuss your claim. He or she will review the circumstances behind your work-related accident to determine which parties can be held liable for your injury. If your attorney finds that a third party may have been involved in your accident, he or she will pursue maximum compensation for your claim.  

Contact a Lawyer for Assistance

If you believe you have been injured in a work-related accident that involved a third party independent of your employer, you may be entitled to additional compensation.

At Lynch Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the justice and maximum compensation they deserve after being injured in an accident. We have the skills and experience you need to represent your claim and help you obtain the compensation you need to recover.

Contact our New Jersey personal injury attorneys to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case. We charge clients on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.

Call (800) 518-0508 to get started.

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