After a work accident, you need money fast to pay for your expenses. For example, as medical bills pile up, you may find that you are unable to work and collect a paycheck. Suddenly, your family is struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, during this time, workers’ compensation may not cover all of your needs. In fact, most workers’ compensation benefits do not cover full wages or compensation for pain and suffering. Often, injured workers only get 70% of their paycheck each month while collecting workers’ compensation. However, filing a third-party claim can help you get the money you need after a serious work accident. Unfortunately, not everyone is qualified to file a third-party lawsuit. Do you qualify? Our attorneys are here to help you find out.
What Are the Qualifications for Filing a Third-Party Claim?
As mentioned above, if you suffered an injury in a work accident in New Jersey, then your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will pay for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. These benefits are available, even if you are at fault for the accident. You do not have to prove that your employer acted negligently or that another person is to blame. In addition, injured workers can start receiving benefits quickly and without significant delay.
Yet, the downside to collecting workers’ compensation is that these benefits are seldom sufficient to pay for all of your damages. When this occurs, injured workers may look to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, collecting workers’ compensation means that injured workers are generally unable to file a lawsuit against their employer after a work accident except in certain limited circumstances. However, what about a negligent third-party?
At times, a negligent third-party is to blame for the accident and your injuries. When this occurs, you may find that you can file a third-party claim against them. To determine if you can file a third-party claim, you must prove the following:
- You suffered a work-related accident,
- A third-party owed you a duty of care,
- The third-party failed in their duty of care,
- This failure and negligence directly led to your accident and
- You suffered injuries because of your work accident.
What Are the Most Common Types of Third-party Claims?
If anyone other than an employer causes your accident, then you could file a third-party negligence claim. Some of the most common types of third-party claims include:
- Car accidents while performing work duties,
- Construction site accidents,
- Negligent subcontractors,
- Negligent general contractors,
- Building owners,
- Machinery defects,
- Equipment malfunction,
- Property owner negligence,
- Defective products and
- Toxic substances.
Additionally, if you suffered an injury on the job by another co-worker or a customer, then you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries. You can typically file this lawsuit in conjunction with filing a workers’ compensation claim.
While you typically cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer, there are some exceptions. For example, if your employer assaulted you or acted grossly negligent, then you may be able to sue your employer.
For instance, suppose your employer knew that their factory contained deadly asbestos fibers and other toxins. Yet, despite this knowledge, your employer failed to take action to maintain a safe work environment. If you develop a respiratory illness or lung cancer because of their actions, then you could possibly sue your employer for gross negligence.
Contact Our New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Work accidents are often complex and difficult to navigate without help. At Rosner Law Offices, P.C., our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers know how difficult it is to get the money and benefits you need after a work injury. That is why we work tirelessly for our clients from the very moment they step into our office. To learn more about workers’ compensation and filing a third-party claim, please contact us. Call us at (856) 692-6500 or fill out our contact form for more information. You can also send us a text for a quick response. We offer free initial consultations and reviews so that you can understand all of your legal options.