Over the course of the summer, people in New Jersey saw construction workers fixing roads, erecting homes and buildings and refurbishing others. It may seem like a never-ending process, but we can all agree that once these projects are finally finished it makes our state’s cities and infrastructure more functional and beautiful.
That being said, construction work poses many dangers. For example, a construction worker can fall off a high ladder. This type of accident can cause broken bones, head injuries and spinal cord injuries. When these injuries are severe, they can lead to astronomical medical costs, lost wages or even permanent disability. Construction workers who suffer a serious workplace injury may want to pursue all their options for compensation.
Workers’ compensation versus third-party claims
Most New Jersey employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides injured workers with the benefits they need to cover medical expenses and lost wages incurred due to their workplace injury. Because workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers in New Jersey regardless of who was at fault for the injury, workers generally cannot sue their employer if they are injured on-the-job.
However, if their injury was caused by a third party the worker may be able to pursue a legal claim against that third party for negligence. To prove negligence, the worker needs to prove that the third party had a duty of care, which was breached, causing the worker to become injured and suffer damages as a result.
I settled my third-party claim. How does this affect my workers’ comp?
Winning or settling a negligence claim can be exhilarating. However, what if you were receiving workers’ comp during the course of the trial? In this situation, the employer and/or their insurer will be granted a credit for the amount the worker recovered from the third party for their workplace injury. This way, an employee will not collect duplicate benefits based on one injury.
Learn more about third-party claims
It’s okay if the topic of third-party claims versus workers’ comp is confusing. There are a lot of nuances that go beyond the scope of this post. Construction workers interested in learning more about their options following a workplace accident can bring the matter up to a professional for further information.