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Does workers' comp take the place of a civil lawsuit?

For New Jersey residents who have been hurt on the job, the thought of going through the workers' compensation process is usually an unpleasant one. This is often because the procedures involved tend to be very confusing, especially considering that one is recovering from an unexpected injury and frequently is in physical pain or emotional distress. After getting injured, a person may receive valuable help and legal advice from a workers' compensation attorney.

One of the many questions that injured workers often have about their case is whether or not workers' compensation essentially takes the place of an alternative: a civil lawsuit against one's employer. This is a particularly pertinent question for those whose workplace injuries were caused by the negligence of an employer, or by a third party in the workplace. Those who have been harmed by defective products on the job are also likely to ask this type of question.

In general, workers' compensation can, to some degree, be considered a substitute for a civil lawsuit against an employer. Basically, in exchange for refraining from suit, the injured worker is entitled to workers' comp benefits. In this sense victims of workplace injuries and workplace accidents are "automatically" entitled to benefits, while their employers are "automatically" protected from lawsuits regarding these same injuries and accidents.

Prior to the advent of the workers' compensation system, injured workers had little choice but to press forward with a civil suit against their employer. Fortunately, workers' compensation has given workers a new alternative with many benefits for workers. A local workers' comp attorney can explain matters such as third-party liability, workers' comp appeals and more.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Comp In-Depth," accessed Jan. 23, 2017

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