Q Can I sue my employer after a New Jersey construction injury, or does workers’ compensation prohibit it?
Many injured workers make the mistake of forgoing a lawsuit because they believe they cannot sue due to workers’ compensation laws. While workers’ compensation laws are meant to protect employers from lawsuits, they do not necessarily prevent you from pursuing a case.
For instance, many other parties can be held accountable for your injury. To determine the most likely source, we must determine why your injury occurred:
- Unsafe environment. The property owner of the construction site has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all of its workers. If mandatory safety measures were not in place (for example, railings were not installed to prevent falls), the property owner may be liable.
- Violation of safety regulations. General contractors and subcontractors may be held accountable if they failed to provide you with safety equipment, such as hard hats, goggles, or proper masks and ventilation devices.
- Defective equipment. If a malfunctioning tool, a defective piece of equipment, or faulty heavy machinery injured you, the product manufacturer or training company can be held responsible for your accident costs.
Any one of these people (or a combination of them) can be held liable for your injuries, regardless of workers’ compensation law. Your best chance of determining who was at fault is to speak to a reputable attorney who has experience in personal injury law and has argued construction accident cases in the past.
Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. is a Morris Plains construction accident lawyer who has helped numerous injured workers get the compensation they deserved for medical bills and lost income. Fill out the form on this page for a FREE, one-on-one consultation.