The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation system exists to ensure that people who are hurt in workplace accidents have their medical bills and lost income covered while limiting employers’ liability. In exchange for this guaranteed coverage, employees relinquish their right to bring a lawsuit against their employer. As such, workers’ compensation is often said to be the “exclusive remedy” for employees who are injured at work.
There are some situations, however, in which employees may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit after being hurt at work, such as when a person is injured by the intentional acts of his or her employer. While infrequent and often difficult to prove, these cases can result in significant recovery for people who are hurt on the job. For example, if an employer was to remove a safety guard from a dangerous machine in order to improve productivity, and the employer had substantial certainty that an injury could result, an injured employee would likely be able to file a lawsuit despite the exclusive remedy provisions of the workers’ compensation statute. Laidlow v. Hariton Machinery Co., 762 A. 2d 311 – 2000.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit can Result in Significant Compensation
Many people wonder why they would sue rather than simply making a workers’ compensation claim. After all, workers compensation usually does not require an employee to go to court and can pay for an employee’s medical expenses and lost wages. If you a file a lawsuit and it is successful, however, it can often result in much more compensation than you would receive had just filed for workers’ compensation. This is because you may be able to seek other types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit, including the following:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, for spouses of injured employees
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Do People Injured by the Intentional Acts of their Employer Need an Attorney?
If you have been hurt by your employer, you may be wondering whether you need to take the time and spare the expense of hiring an attorney. In many cases, an employer may realize that he or she was in the wrong and offer you money or employment benefits in order to try to smooth things over. It is important to remember that you may be entitled to significant compensation and that your employer should be held accountable for his or her wrongful acts. For these reasons, it is highly advisable for anyone who has been injured either physically or emotionally by his or her employer to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that there will not be any up-front cost associated with retaining a lawyer, as personal injury attorneys almost invariably take their cases on a contingent fee basis
Call the Wilton Law Firm to Speak with an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Workplace injuries caused by the intentional acts of your employer can entitle you to significant financial compensation. To speak with a skilled New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer, call our office today at 732-275-9555.