When you’ve been injured on the job, your first course of action is typically to notify your employer and take the necessary steps to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Under New Jersey law, workers’ compensation can often be your “exclusive” remedy for injury or illness suffered in the workplace. That’s not always the case, though, and one of the situations where you may be able to go outside of the workers’ compensation system is when you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle accident while working. Here’s how it works.
The New Jersey workers’ compensation laws are intended to provide a streamlined way for you to get benefits when you have been hurt because of the carelessness or negligence of your employer or a co-employee. It does not apply (and does not limit you) when your injuries are caused, in whole or in part, by the wrongful actions of an unrelated third party. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident while working, and the accident was caused by the other driver (who was neither your employer nor a co-worker), you have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that person in civil court. In fact, you can file a workers’ compensation and a personal injury lawsuit simultaneously, seeking to recover for losses from the same accident.
There are advantages and disadvantages to filing a personal injury lawsuit for a work-related injury. The primary advantage—you won’t be limited in your recovery to the amounts set forth in the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws. The primary disadvantage—it can take months or years before you actually receive any monetary award.
It’s also important to know that you can’t recover twice for the same loss. For example, if your medical expenses were covered by workers’ compensation, you cannot recover for the same medical expenses from a third party in a civil suit.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.
We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.