Let's say you suffered a catastrophic on-the-job injury at a New Jersey construction site. You're injured and you can't go to work for the time being because your injuries are so severe. In fact, maybe you'll never be able to work again. You're probably wondering whether you can pursue additional financial damages against an at-fault party in addition to whatever benefits you're receiving from the state's workers' compensation program. In certain cases, the answer might be "yes."
Your potential financial recovery in a personal injury claim pursued against an employer is likely to be influenced by New Jersey worker's compensation laws. However, other parties in addition to your employer could be liable and responsible for the injuries you suffered. These potentially liable parties -- against whom you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim -- are possibly liable for your injuries. This could include a third-party contractor, equipment renters, equipment manufacturers and more. Unlike your employer, these parties will not be protected by workers' compensation laws.
Let's say, for example, that you were hurt while working at a big construction site. Perhaps there was something wrong with the property -- something unattended to by the owner of the property -- that caused you to suffer an on-the-job injury. Would the property owner be liable in this situation? This depends on the level of control exerted by the property owner on the work environment. However, in some cases, it could be a liability issue for the property owner.
In order to determine if you can pursue civil claims in court, in addition to your workers' compensation claims related to an on-the-job injury, it could be helpful to discuss the matter with a qualified workers' compensation lawyer and personal injury attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Construction injuries FAQ," accessed Oct. 21, 2016