Do I Need to Prove Fault in a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The New Jersey workers’ compensation system is a “no-fault” insurance program. An injured or ill worker can recover medical or disability benefits without proving their employer or a co-worker was at fault for the injury – even if the worker was at fault. By accepting workers’ compensation benefits, workers give up the right to sue their employer. That is the trade-off for giving workers’ compensation benefits.
However, the worker does not give up the right to sue anyone other than his or her employer who is responsible for an injury suffered on the job or for an occupational illness. Also, the worker’s family does not surrender its right to recover from the employer or any other responsible party.
If you are injured or become ill on the job, a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney from Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., can review your case and decide the best possible route for recovering funds you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (800) LAW-2000 or take a minute to complete our online form.
Workers’ Compensation – No Determination of Fault Needed
Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, no determination of fault is needed. An employer must compensate an employee for any injury or illness that arises out of and in the course of employment.
The employer’s duty includes coverage for any pre-existing condition that may have worsened as a result of the worker’s job duties. For instance, a back condition may grow worse because of a worker’s constant overexertion on the job.
However, with thousands of dollars in payments at stake, employers and their insurance companies often dispute workers’ compensation claims. They often contest whether an injury or illness is work-related and the extent of a worker’s disability. The employer also determines the choice of physician to provide the necessary treatment.
Third–Party Liability Claims – Proof of Fault Required
Though a New Jersey worker who has suffered a jobsite injury or illness cannot sue his or her employer, the worker can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against any third party who has caused an injury or illness. For instance, a truck driver struck by another car may recover workers’ compensation benefits from his employer and sue the driver of the car that hit him.
To be successful, a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim requires proof that the third party was at fault. An injured or ill worker may recover damages through a third-party liability suit that are not available in a workers’ compensation claim such as money for pain and suffering. This is why the facts of any workplace injury or illness should be thoroughly examined.
Getting Legal Help is Important after a Workplace Injury or Illness
When an employer or its insurance carrier fights a workers’ compensation claim, an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney can help you fend off these challenges so that you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
A personal injury lawyer experienced in New Jersey courts can help you look at other aspects of your work accident or illness to determine whether other parties should be held accountable such as the manufacturer of faulty machinery or the landlord at a dangerous job site.
Additionally, a New Jersey worker’s family can sue any party that has caused it direct harm, including an employer. For instance, if a worker develops an occupational disease, the worker’s children may work with a New Jersey lawyer to sue the employer over any birth defects that can be traced to that illness.
At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., our New Jersey lawyers know the intricacies of our state’s complex workers’ compensation laws and are also skilled personal injury lawyers. We are associated with workplace safety experts and medical experts who help to develop cases for our workers’ compensation and personal injury clients. We fight tirelessly and aggressively to counter any employer’s attempt to deny a worker the compensation he or she deserves.
The chairman of the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., workers’ compensation section, Steve Cohen, has more than 20 years of experience as a workers’ compensation lawyer. Recently, he helped modernize and rewrite the Workers’ Compensation Board as part of his responsibility as Co-Chairman of the New Jersey Association for Justice. He is a moderator and lecturer at NJAJ seminars two times per year on current workers’ compensation topics of interest.
To learn how we can help you, contact Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Call (800) LAW-2000 or fill out our online form. We can provide a free initial consultation. We do not charge our clients a fee until there is a recovery for them and their family.
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