Construction is a dangerous profession, and New Jersey is no exception; unfortunately, injuries happen daily on job sites.
When these things happen, you might wonder if you can sue your employer on a construction site in New Jersey, especially if negligence is involved. Negligence is the failure to properly care for something, especially regarding safety procedures in the construction zone.
After an injury, your next step should be to apply for workers’ compensation benefits and seek financial assistance for underlying damages and expenses. If you’re unsure about the process or have questions, our experienced lawyers can help you with the next steps of your claim.
However, you can only sue an employer for a work-related injury in the state of New Jersey if you are "intentionally wronged." But this doesn’t mean you’ll be looking at financial trouble if you’re out of work; rest assured that there are options and other avenues to receive compensation. You are able to sue your employer for an intentional wrong if you can prove the employer knew about a hazard prior to injury. You may also be entitled to compensation through a third party lawsuit.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
In accordance with the New Jersey Compensation Act, workers who suffer from a work-related injury can receive adequate compensation with 'fair and timely' benefits. All New Jersey employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance for their employees.
Most injuries at work are considered "no-fault" in New Jersey law, which means you'll receive compensation for any work-related injury or illness regardless of whether it was your fault.
Furthermore, a fair amount of your claim will include non-economic damages, which is the amalgamation of pain, suffering, and mental trauma you've sustained as a residue of your injury/illness.
If you receive any injury or illness at work, you are most likely entitled to financial compensation and should file for workers' compensation immediately. Since you cannot sue for negligence in a court of law, this is the next best thing you can do.
Eligibility for Workers Compensation
To be eligible for workers' compensation in New Jersey, you must meet the following two requirements:
First, the injury must occur at the workplace while you are working.
Second, you must be able to prove that you sustained an injury while at the site.
When accepting a job, you expect the work environment to be safe and free from personal harm. However, there are times when employees fall victim to injury on the job due to an intentional wrong on the part of the employer; this is the only instance you can sue an employer of a construction site in Jew Jersey for a work-related injury is if they perform an intentional wrong.
An intentional wrong is an act against employees that intentionally or knowingly caused injury at the workplace.
An example is exposure to harmful materials that cause terminal illness (such as asbestos). Of course, for this to be a valid case in a court of law, it must be proven that the employer had deliberately exposed their employees with the certainty illness would have occurred.
Third Party Liability Lawsuits
While employees cannot directly sue their employers for work-related injuries, you can file a lawsuit against a third party if you are hurt on a construction site in New Jersey. This is a Third Party Liability lawsuit since the claim doesn't have to do directly with the workplace; instead, the negligence falls on the third party and not the employer.
What kind of injuries could potentially happen in the world place and incite legal action against a third party? Here are a few examples in which you are eligible to sue:
- Car crashes
- Faulty equipment from a manufacturer
- Injuries involving subcontractors
- Dangerous designs
- Personal property hazards
- Defective products
For example, suppose there is a piece of equipment not working correctly because of a manufacturer defect, and you sustain injury from this piece of equipment. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation through a third-party lawsuit.
Many of these things could cause injury and entitle you to more than just financial compensation.
New Jersey has a modified comparative fault law that may consider the actions of an individual before the injury. They will still be entitled to workers' compensation under the no-fault law, but the financial responsibility of the workplace may be less if the worker’s improper or reckless behavior led to the injury. Likewise, management may split the settlement if they also share fault through behavior or actions.
Contact Us For Help with Your NJ Construction Accident Claim
A construction site is often chaotic; any one or more entities may be legally liable when a construction worker is injured or killed. If you’ve been injured, you should contact a New Jersey construction accident attorney who can help you understand your options.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey with their injury cases. We have years of experience in both workers compensation and personal injury claims. Our top-rated attorney team has the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, contact us immediately to discuss your case.