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More on third-party liability claims in work-related injuries

A previous post on this blog talked briefly about how New Jersey law works when it comes to work-related injuries. Basically, an employee in Camden County, under New Jersey law, trades his or her right to sue his or her employer for negligence in exchange for the employer providing workers' compensation benefits which cover medical bills, lost income, and certain other expenses on a no-fault basis.

While the advantage is that workers in New Jersey, at least in theory, have the opportunity to get compensation quickly and reliably, the disadvantage is that they cannot sue for all of their damages. Laws often limit the amount of lost wages a worker can recover, and, perhaps more importantly, a worker is not able to get emotional damages like pain and suffering through the workers' compensation system.

Someone who has been the victim of a work-related injury should not give up hope and just accept lower compensation. Specifically, workers' compensation only prevents an employee from suing his or her own employer for negligence; it does not prohibit a victim from suing other responsible parties.

For instance, a construction worker who gets hit by a passing motorist is still allowed to sue the motorist for his or her injuries, and they may ask for damages over and beyond what workers' compensation offers. Likewise, a construction worker or other employer who gets hurt because of a defective tool or machine may still be able to get compensation from the manufacturer of that product.

Workers' compensation does indeed limit a New Jersey employee's ability to sue his or her own employer following an accident. Nevertheless, other options may be available that could allow an injured victim to receive as much compensation as legally possible.

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