Identifying All Potential Sources to Cover Your Losses
In New Jersey, when you’re hurt in the course of your employment, you have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim to cover lost income and medical expenses. Though workers’ comp is often referred to as an “exclusive remedy,” there are situations where you can also simultaneously file a civil personal injury lawsuit for damages. Such a remedy may be available if you’re injured in a work-related auto accident.
Third Party Claims and Workers’ Compensation Laws
New Jersey workers’ compensation laws were enacted as a “great bargain,” purportedly offering benefits to both workers and employers. For workers, the process is intended to avoid the time and expense of a trial and allow for the collection of benefits within weeks. For employers, the fixed benefits available under workers’ comp laws alleviates the fear of exorbitant damage awards from sympathetic juries.
However, workers’ compensation law is intended to be the exclusive remedy only for injuries resulting from the wrongful acts of an employer or coworker. If your injuries are caused by an unrelated third party, such as the driver of another motor vehicle (who does not work for your employer), nothing prohibits you from seeking damages from that driver in a personal injury lawsuit. The only limitation is that you cannot recover twice for the same loss. For example, if your medical expenses are paid through a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot recover them again in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other car.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Office of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of motor vehicle accident, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all car-accident-injury claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.