Hopewell NJ Workers’ Compensation Negligence Claims Attorney
Law Firm with Offices in Hamilton and Pennington, NJ
It is extremely difficult to sue your employer for a work-related injury. That’s because the New Jersey workers’ compensation law is essentially a compromise that insulates employers against liability for worker injuries while providing injured workers with an immediate remedy that includes payment of medical bills, lost wages, and disability benefits. The fact is that an injured worker is typically precluded from filing a personal injury claim against a negligent employer; instead, they must rely on workers’ compensation to cover their medical bills. However, there are limited circumstances in which an injured worker can sue their employer outside of workers’ compensation court.
Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm that has been representing clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1972. During that time, we have helped injured workers file workers’ comp claims in Princeton, West Windsor, and everywhere else in Mercer County. We understand the nuances of New Jersey workers’ compensation and personal injury laws. As a result, we are also able to identify situations when injured workers can file civil suits against employers who would otherwise be shielded against civil liability. If you have been injured as the result of a workplace accident, call CR to explore your legal options.
Employer Liability for Negligence in Mercer County NJ Workers’ Compensation Cases
An employer who intentionally causes a worker’s injury may be liable for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, you can potentially pursue a civil claim against your employer if the employer committed a deliberate wrong. This is an important exception to the rule that workers’ compensation protects employers against civil suits for work-related injuries.
Keep in mind that the threshold in these cases is extremely high. You will need to prove that your employer knowingly exposed you to a substantial certainty of injury. Moreover, gross negligence by your employer might not be enough to avoid the bar to civil suits in workers’ compensation cases. That’s because New Jersey courts have held that the employer is civilly liable only if they took some kind of affirmative act that made the workplace significantly less safe.
Nonetheless, it is still possible to seek damages against an employer for work-related injuries. For example, courts have found that when an employer failed to correct conditions that led to a worker’s injury, the employer may be liable for the damages. Courts have also found that when an employer directed that a specific safety feature be removed from a machine – and that feature could have prevented a worker’s subsequent injury – the employer may be liable.
Additionally, sometimes an employer’s argument that the worker was not injured while performing a work-related task can backfire. For example, if you were hurt while driving to work, you might be ineligible for workers’ compensation but suddenly eligible to file a personal injury claim against your employer. Additionally, employers are not protected against negligence claims when a worker was the victim of sexual harassment or defamation.
Product Liability Claims Against Third Parties in Trenton NJ
It might also be possible for you to get damages beyond those afforded by workers’ compensation if you were injured by a defective product. In these cases, you will probably need to file a claim against a third party like the product manufacturer.
Employer Retaliation for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Hamilton, NJ
New Jersey workers’ compensation law protects employees against retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim. This means that you cannot be terminated for filing a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. If you file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and your employer retaliates by firing you, you might be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. This typically involves filing a discrimination complaint with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation.
One exception to this is if your own negligent conduct caused the accident and violated company policy. However, even then you would still be entitled to workers’ compensation for your injuries because NJ workers’ compensation is a no-fault policy.
Free Consultation with Lawrence NJ Workers’ Comp Lawyers
The workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson will explore all avenues to get you the compensation you deserve for a work-related injury. Additionally, we handle workers’ comp cases on a contingency fee basis; we only get a percentage of the amount we are able to recover for you. Call us today to discuss your case, or email us to schedule a meeting at our offices in Hamilton or Pennington.