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In New Jersey, can I file a workers’ compensation claim and sue a third party in court for the same work-related accident?

Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy in New Jersey for a workplace or work-related injury. When an employee suffers a workplace or work-related injury, they must file a workers’ compensation claim to receive medical benefits and wage compensation.

However, some individuals are injured in the course of employment due to a wrongful act of a third-party. In such cases, the employee can bring a lawsuit against the third party for the same work-related accident for which they filed a workers’ compensation claim.

Under New Jersey law, the employer must be reimbursed for the payments made to the injured employee if the employee receives compensation from a third party for the same work-related accident.

The reimbursement to the employer is subrogation, which occurs when the liability for the work-related accident rests with a third-party. When a verdict or settlement is reached in the third-party lawsuit, the employer or its insurance carrier is owed reimbursement for any compensation awarded to the employee in the workers’ compensation claim.

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