When you’ve suffered an injury on the job, your first course of action is often to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. There are good reasons to do so-if your claim is approved, you’ll likely start receiving benefits within weeks. But there can be other reasons to consider filing a lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, provided you are eligible to do so. Though the legal process may take longer, you won’t typically face the limits on damages that are part of the workers’ compensation system.

So how can you file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit? Here’s how it works.

The workers’ compensation laws are designed to compensate you for the negligence or carelessness of your employer or a co-employee. If your injuries are caused by an unrelated third party, you aren’t limited to pursuing a workers’ compensation claim as your exclusive remedy. Accordingly, you must be able to show that your injuries were caused to some extent by the wrongful act of someone other than your employer or a co-employee in order to file the lawsuit, known as a “third party action.”

Some examples of situations where there might be a third party claim include:

  • Injuries caused by the malfunction or breakdown or a dangerous or defective product, such as a tool, machine or piece of equipment, that was manufactured or designed by a third party
  • Injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident while on the job, where the at-fault driver was not your employer or a co-employee
  • Injuries caused by workers not hired by or subcontracted to your employer.


To learn how we can help you if you have been injured in the workplace, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free at ). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.