Labor Law Injury Attorneys In New Jersey
The New Jersey Labor Law attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits involving various accidents, including construction accidents and other occupational accidents. If you were injured in a New Jersey construction accident such as a ladder or scaffold fall, contact us today.
In New Jersey, most occupational injuries are covered through workers’ compensation, which typically bars litigation. However, there are still cases where an injured worker can file a personal injury lawsuit. Pursuing litigation in an injury claim can produce a large verdict or settlement. An injured employee may sue for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain damages, you do not owe any fees. If you are unsure about whether you have a case, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today. Legal consultations are free, and you are under no obligation to file a lawsuit.
When Can an Injured New Jersey Worker File a Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a New Jersey workplace accident, you may be wondering about your legal rights. When can an injured worker file a personal injury lawsuit?
New Jersey, like all other states in the nation, has a workers’ compensation insurance structure providing benefits to employees who suffered from occupational injuries. If you were injured while at work, workers’ compensation will provide compensation and medical treatment for your injury.
Employees who were hurt on-the-job can receive these benefits even if the injury was their own fault. Receiving workers’ compensation in New Jersey generally prevents you from filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer due to negligence. This is known as the workers’ compensation bar or the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act.
However, there is one important exception. If the employer knowingly caused harm to his or her worker, they are subject to litigation. An injured employee can sue their employer for committing an act that intentionally places workers at risk of injury.
This issue was highlighted in a 2002 New Jersey Supreme Court case, Laidlow v. Hariton Machinery Co., Inc., where the employer removed a safety device from a machine to increase production despite knowing that it was dangerous to workers. The intentionality of this act was further demonstrated when the employers placed the safety device back during OSHA inspections. The New Jersey Supreme Court sided with the injured worker in the case, and emphasized that an employer is liable for committing “intentional wrong”.
An occupational accident lawsuit can also be filed in cases where the worker was injured due to the negligence of a third party.
Examples of liable parties may include:
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Maintenance companies
Proof of Liability in a Work Injury Claim
Workers’ compensation does not require proof of fault. If you were injured on the job, you can receive benefits by simply showing that you were doing your job.
If you are suing a third party for an injury, however, you must prove that the defendant acted negligently. When filing a workplace injury lawsuit, you must show that the defendant breached their duty by failing to demonstrate a reasonable amount of care. As with other negligence claims, you must also show that your injury was caused by this breach of duty and that the injury resulted in damages, such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
At Parker Waichman, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you with your injury claim. You have a limited amount of time to sue, so call us today if you have any questions.
Construction Injuries and Accidents
In terms of occupational injuries, the construction industry is the most dangerous. Construction sites involve the use of heavy, high-powered equipment and workers often perform jobs at elevated heights. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry had the highest number of work-related deaths and injuries.
There are many different types of construction injuries that can occur:
- Falls from high elevations, such as scaffolding, roofs or ladders
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Injuries from falling debris and falling objects
- Slippery surfaces
- Electrical injuries from exposed wiring
- Faulty equipment
- Injuries related to cranes, bulldozers, forklifts and other heavy machinery
Workplace Deaths Increasing in New Jersey, BLS Report Says
Recent figures show that workplace fatalities are increasing in New Jersey. According to a BLS report released in March 2017, there were 97 work-related deaths in 2015. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that this is a 10 percent increase from the previous year.
Countrywide, occupational deaths rose from 4,821 in 2014 to 4,836 in 2015.
In New Jersey, deaths in the workplace reached a high of 145 in 1993 and a low of 81 in 2010, BLS reported.
According to the BLS report, 37 fatal work injuries in New Jersey were due to transportation incidents and 24 deaths were caused by falls, slips or trips in 2015. These two categories made up 63 percent of all occupational deaths in New Jersey, the report said.
The largest number of occupational deaths occurred in the private construction industry, with 22 fatalities. In the construction sector, 12 employees died due to falls. All but two of them had worked in specialty trade contracting. A total of 19 workers died on the job in the private transportation and warehousing sector. Among these, 11 were in general freight trucking.
In terms of occupational groups, BLS reported that transportation and material moving and construction and extraction had the higher numbers of workplace deaths. There were 21 deaths among construction and extraction workers, 14 of which were construction trade workers. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2017/03/23/445445.htm
Filing a New Jersey Construction Accident Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit involving an accident that occurred in New Jersey, contact one of our New Jersey accident attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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