If you are hurt while working in New Jersey, you have a right to seek benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation program. But what if you are injured in a car accident while on the job? Are you limited to the benefits available through a work comp claim? Not necessarily.
The New Jersey workers’ compensation laws are designed to provide mutual benefit to employers and employees. As such, the benefits payable under a workers’ compensation are designed to reimburse the employee for any potential negligence of the employer. The employee may seek compensation from any unrelated third parties in a lawsuit in court, known as a third party claim. In that lawsuit, the employee will not be limited in the amount of damages recoverable. Furthermore, any money recovered through a workers’ compensation claim will not offset any amount received in the third party claim.
So, for example, suppose you drive a company truck and your employer fails to properly maintain the vehicle. The brakes give out while you are driving it and you are hurt. In a workers’ compensation claim, you would be limited to a specific payout of benefits, based on whether your injuries were considered to be temporary or permanent, and based on whether your disability is found to be total or partial. Your only recourse for your employer’s negligence in failing to maintain the vehicle is through the workers’ compensation claim. If, however, the accident was caused in part by the negligence of another driver, not a co-worker, you may still have a right to workers’ compensation benefits for your employer’s negligence, but you can also file a third party claim against the driver of the other vehicle.
Other common third party claims include lawsuits alleging:
- Product liability—dangerous or defective components in your vehicle or another vehicle, including faulty brakes, steering mechanisms, tires, etc.
- Negligently maintained roadways—You can also file a third party claim if your accident was caused by a poorly maintained road
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you when you have been the victim of a delivery truck accident or other car accident while on the job, contact us online or call us at 732-780-0230. There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.