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Workers' Compensation Not Always Solely Responsible for Injuries


This blog often talks about workers’ compensation claims and issues and helps locals navigate the system after a workplace injury. However, what many injured workers may not realize is that workers’ compensation is not always solely responsible for a worker’s injuries.

Workers’ compensation primer

There are other posts on this blog that go into the details of the workers’ compensation system in New Jersey. What is important for this post is that the exclusive remedy part of workers’ compensation only applies to the employer. This means that the civil court system is available against third parties, if they are responsible, even partially, for an employee’s on-the-job injuries.

Liable third parties

Of course, an injured worker should still file a workers’ compensation claim to get immediate help, but figuring out third-party liability thereafter can be a key component to getting one’s life back. Specifically, think about everything that occurred before, during, and after the workplace accident. In addition, think about everyone that was involved, including any piece of equipment. Then, think if any of those people or equipment helped cause the accident or injury, even just exacerbating the injury the worker suffered. Each of these people and machines could become a potential liability to third parties. Though the machines, themselves, would not have liability, the manufacturer and distributor may be liable.

So, an injury occurred, what now?

For Freehold, New Jersey, residents that have been injured at work, make sure to inform the immediate supervisor immediately to get the workers’ compensation process started. And, if needed, get medical attention immediately. However, think about documenting the incident. This means taking pictures, getting witness information, and, if one cannot do this themselves, ask a co-worker. This will help in both the workers’ compensation claim and any subsequent third-party liability claim.