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Can I file for workers’ compensation and then sue my employer based on injuries I sustained at work?

Probably not, but maybe. Under New Jersey law, a workers’ compensation claim is an injured employee’s sole remedy against their employer. However, there are notable exceptions.

Workers’ compensation claims are intended to provide injured employees a quick way to obtain limited benefits after a workplace injury. There are several benefits to a workers’ compensation claim. For example, an injured worker does not need to prove that their employer was responsible for their injury. In fact, even those employees who are partially responsible for their own injure are eligible for benefits. In addition, employees are able to obtain workers’ compensation much more quickly than through a personal injury lawsuit.

In exchange for these benefits, workers give up the right to pursue a personal injury claim against their employer. This is referred to as the “sole remedy” or “exclusive remedy” provision of the workers’ compensation law. Thus, as a general rule, employees are limited to brining a workers’ compensation claim against their employer.

However, in cases where an employee’s injury was caused by an employer’s “intentional act,” an employee may bypass the sole-remedy provision and file a personal injury claim against their employer. Similarly, the sole-remedy provision does not apply to an injured workers’ personal injury claim against a third party. These third-party personal injury claims can be brought against any non-employer party.

For example, if an employee is involved in a car accident that was caused by another driver, the employee may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver without worrying about the sole remedy provision of the workers’ compensation law. In this situation, the employee may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim as well, however, if the employee obtained workers’ compensation benefits and also obtained compensation through their personal injury lawsuit, they may be required to pay back some or all of the workers’ compensation benefits.

The nuances of workers’ compensation law are complex, especially when there may also be a viable personal injury claim. Anyone who was injured on the job should reach out to a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney to discuss their case and what options they have to pursue compensation for their injuries.

Contact a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Attorney Today

The law firm of Petrillo & Goldberg has assembled a compassionate team of advocates who have dedicated their career to ensuring that New Jersey injury accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. The injury advocates at Petrillo & Goldberg deal with the insurance companies so employees can focus on recovering, returning to work and moving forward with their life. To learn more, call 856-249-9288 to schedule a free consultation.

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The highly competent lawyers at Petrillo and Goldberg represent clients with personal injury claims, workers compensation claims, slip-and-fall cases and automobile accident victims. We work for you, and take our job of getting the best possible results for you seriously.