I’m receiving workers’ compensation payments for a jobsite injury. Can I file a lawsuit against my employer to recover additional compensation?
By accepting workers’ compensation benefits, you have agreed to not sue your employer for causing your injury. But, if your employer’s egregious conduct caused your injury, you might have a claim. There may also be others who can be held liable for your injuries.
New Jersey law says that employers who pay injured workers’ medical bills and compensation for lost wages will not be subjected to legal claims for additional recovery.
But if an employer acts with an intent to injure or a substantial certainty of injury, like removing safety guards from dangerous machinery or ordering an employee to do something more dangerous than their normal job duties, then an employee may be able to bring a direct claim for money damages against their employer.
An injured worker can also bring a civil lawsuit against a third party that contributed to their work-related accident.
For example, a subcontractor on your job site would not be protected if they caused your injury because they are not your employer. Or if a flaw in a piece of equipment or machinery caused the accident that injured you, the manufacturer might be liable in a third-party dangerous and defective products claim.