Work injuries can occur in many settings. Often, workers are unprepared for the economic and emotional burdens associated with serious injuries. If you suffer an on-the-job injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, workers’ compensation benefits are limited. You may be able to obtain greater remedies for the harm that you suffered by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party that was responsible for your work injuries. If you are injured on the job in New Jersey, you should consult a seasoned attorney. New Jersey work injury lawyer Raymond A. Grimes can assert your rights and pursue compensation on your behalf.Work Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Each state has its own workers’ compensation system. In New Jersey, workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that allows workers who suffer work injuries to obtain medical benefits, along with temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, or permanent total disability benefits. All New Jersey employers that are not covered by a federal workers’ compensation program need to have workers’ compensation coverage or obtain approval to be self-insured. Although the workers’ compensation system was designed to make it easier for workers to obtain compensation after sustaining work injuries, the system does not provide compensation for the full range of harm that a worker may experience when injured on the job.Third-Party Lawsuits Based on Work Injuries
If you were injured on the job through the fault of a third party, rather than your employer, you may be able to bring a third-party lawsuit against that person or entity. For example, third-party lawsuits may be brought based on a car accident that occurs on the job. For another example, a work injury attorney in New Jersey might help a worker bring a third-party lawsuit against a property owner if they were injured while on someone else’s property for work. A third-party lawsuit could also be brought against a manufacturer if you were injured as a result of a defective product.
If you can establish another party’s liability in a third-party lawsuit, you can recover damages for emotional harms such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. These are not available through the workers’ compensation system.Theories of Liability
The circumstances surrounding your workplace accident will determine whether you can recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Many personal injury lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. This means that the defendant did not use reasonable care under the circumstances, and you were injured because of the defendant’s lack of care. For example, a victim of a car accident might establish negligence by showing that the defendant violated a traffic rule or was distracted or intoxicated while they were driving.
Other rules apply to accidents caused by a dangerous condition on the premises. Your status on the defendant’s property will determine what your New Jersey work injury attorney will need to prove to establish the property owner or occupier’s liability. Generally, you will need to show that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injuries but failed to correct or repair that dangerous condition.
On-the-job injuries may be caused by defective equipment or tools or even furniture in the workplace. If you were injured on the job by a defective product, you may have a strict liability claim against the manufacturer of the product. You will need to prove that the product that injured you was not reasonably safe or fit for its intended use because it had a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or a marketing defect. You will not need to show the manufacturer’s negligence. This can make it easier for a plaintiff to prevail in their claim.Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Work injuries can make it difficult or impossible for you to keep working at your job. You may face substantial medical bills, in addition to lost wages and emotional harm. To find out about your options for seeking compensation, you should contact a work injury lawyer in New Jersey. At the Grimes Law Firm, we represent injured workers throughout Somerset County and the surrounding areas. Call us at (908) 371-1066 or contact us via our online form.