Perth Amboy, NJ Workplace Injury Lawyer

If you were hurt at work, your path to recovery might be complicated.  In many cases, lawsuits against your employer are barred, and you instead need to use their Workers’ Compensation insurance to file a claim.  However, these claims block compensation for pain and suffering, and you could be entitled to greater compensation if you file a lawsuit.

Your ability to file a lawsuit could be restricted, but you are generally able to file a lawsuit against anyone other than your employer who might have injured you.  Independent contractors also potentially have special rules.

If you were hurt in a work accident, call the Perth Amboy workplace injury lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today.  Our attorneys fight to help injured workers get the compensation they need.  Call us at (718) 841-0083 today.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Lawsuits for Injured Workers in Perth Amboy

When you are injured at work, NJ law generally requires you to file a claim with your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance instead of filing a lawsuit.  However, Workers’ Compensation might limit the compensation you can receive, barring non-economic damages.  Our Perth Amboy workplace injury lawyers explain when you can sue instead of using Workers’ Compensation and what damages are available for each path to recovery.

Workers’ Compensation

When filing a Workers’ Compensation claim, you are eligible for damages to cover a percentage of your average wages and all necessary medical bills related to your injury.  To get these damages, you only have to prove that your injury was work-related, and the insurance company should be required to cover it.  There is no need to prove fault.  However, going to your employer and requesting Workers’ Compensation coverage can be difficult, and this insurance does not cover pain and suffering or other non-economic damages.  The lost wage damages are also not paid in full.

Lawsuits

When you are entitled to sue for injuries, you could be able to claim higher damages, including the full value of lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.  Other incidental damages, such as property damage, could also be covered in a lawsuit against the responsible parties.  To get compensation though, you need to prove they were at fault for your injuries.

In many cases, employers are at fault, but they cannot be sued except under certain circumstances.  In NJ, lawsuits should not be barred for intentional injuries or if your employer failed to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance.

NJ law also allows independent contractors to sue for injuries, but there are complex rules that define whether you are an independent contractor or not.  In general, the law errs on the side of treating you as a contractor and requiring your employer to cover your injuries with Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Special Rules for Independent Contractors Injured at Work in Perth Amboy

There are many legal issues surrounding independent contractors today.  Employers often prefer to label workers as contractors because it allows them to avoid paying them certain benefits or taking responsibility for their mistakes.  It also means they do not need to pay for the worker’s Workers’ Compensation insurance.  If you are properly classified as an independent contractor, our Perth Amboy workplace injury lawyers could be able to help you sue your client for your work injuries.  However, the law might classify you as an employee instead, limiting who you can sue.

Whether or not you are classified as an independent contractor depends on a 3-factor test, not on the agreements you have with your boss or whether you are paid with a 1099 or not.  In this 3-factor test, you are only considered a contractor if…

  1. Your work is done without the company’s control
  2. Your work is in a different type of business from the company you work for
  3. Your work is an independent trade or profession

For example, a general contractor hired by a construction firm is typically treated as an employee, even if they are a contractor, because they are performing the same type of business for their employer.  But a caterer hired for a holiday party at a construction firm should properly be treated as an independent contractor.

If you are indeed an independent contractor, then Workers’ Compensation rules typically do not block you from suing the company that hired you for unsafe work conditions.  If you are misclassified as an independent contractor, you might have to sue a third party to avoid the limited damages in a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Suing Third Parties for Workplace Injuries in Perth Amboy, NJ

Injuries that happen at a job site might not be the employer’s fault.  Surely, the employer should be held responsible for unsafe work conditions or OSHA violations, and you can typically file complaints and Workers’ Compensation claims for these issues.  However, if a third party was responsible for the injuries, you could be entitled to sue them, potentially opening access to pain and suffering and other additional damages.

Our Perth Amboy workplace injury lawyers can help you claim compensation in a lawsuit against various third-party defendants depending on how you were injured and what your working conditions are like.  The following are some examples of this in action:

  • Faulty safety gear, tools, and equipment could lead to a lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer.
  • Auto accidents on the job could justify suing the at-fault driver.
  • Assault by customers, clients, or patients could allow an assault and battery claim against them.
  • When visiting other locations or sites as part of your job, you could be able to sue the property owner there for slip and falls or other premises liability injuries.

For help determining the right parties to sue, have our Perth Amboy workplace injury lawyers review your case.

Call Our Perth Amboy Workplace Accident Attorneys Today

If you were injured at work, our Perth Amboy workplace injury attorneys may be able to help.  Call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083 for a free case evaluation.