Getting injured while at work can be a particularly stressful ordeal. Not only will you have to deal with the medical expenses, recovery regimen, and physical and mental toll of an injury that all personal injury victims must deal with, but you also will have to handle the prospect that your injuries might make it so that you cannot work for some time, need to switch jobs, or may be unable to work again. This worry can be made even worse if you suspect that the injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.
If you were injured on the job and are evaluating your legal options, our lawyers can help. We can analyze your situation and determine the best course of action for dealing with the legal ramifications of your work injuries.
Call Legal Care New Jersey to have our work injury lawyers go over your case for free at the number (732) 838-9769.
How to Get Compensation for Work Injuries in East Orange, NJ
Workers’ Compensation is a way of getting financial compensation for workplace injuries without the hassle of needing to go through a lengthy lawsuit. This system came into existence as an alternative to a worker needing to sue their employer to recover damages, as it can be hard to prove that an injury was an employer’s fault. On top of that, it can take a very long time for workers in need to actually get the financial dispensation they require to get on with their lives, even if they are successful in their lawsuit.
However, there are many circumstances not covered by Workers’ Compensation. In those instances, you will need to file a lawsuit to get damages. Moreover, pain and suffering are not factored into these policies, so you will need to sue if you want to get compensated for those things.
Suing for Injuries after a Work Injury in East Orange, NJ
While insurance is an excellent remedy that is helpful to many injured workers, sometimes you can pursue other options for compensation that might get you higher damages.
No Workers’ Comp. Policy
Employers are legally required to have Workers’ Compensation policies. However, that does not mean that every employer will follow the law. If you have the unpleasant surprise of finding out that your employer does not have insurance as legally required, you can instead file a lawsuit against them to get the compensation you deserve. This might also open avenues to additional compensation that their insurance never would have covered in the first place, such as pain and suffering damages.
A lawsuit may be the best course of action if you were injured by a third party while you were working. For example, suppose you were driving a delivery vehicle, and another motorist hits and injures you. Although insurance may apply, you will still be able to sue the third party. One of the main advantages of filing a lawsuit is that you can get damages for things like pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages, none of which are covered by policies employers have. Thus, a lawsuit is the correct remedy in these instances.
Alternatively, if you are an independent contractor, the party that injures you will likely not be your employer, so you will need to file a lawsuit to get recourse for your injuries.
Intentional Acts by Your Employer
Finally, if the employer caused your injuries through “intentional acts” under N.J.S.A. § 34:15-8, you might be able to sue instead. This includes more than just actual intentional injury and can include certain acts of recklessness as well. However, some intentional acts still fall under the purview of insurance. For example, under N.J.S.A. § 34:15-7.1, injuries caused by “horseplay or skylarking” of fellow employees fall under that policy. However, such a policy will not apply if you are participating in the workplace shenanigans. In those instances, you will have to file a lawsuit.
That being said, in most instances, intentional acts are hard to prove, so you should speak with our lawyers about your situation if you believe that this may be the case.
Independent contractors do not have the same workplace protections as employees, so they will have to file lawsuits to get compensation for their injuries. That being said, New Jersey has a broad definition of who qualifies as an “employee,” so certain requirements need to be met to be properly considered an independent contractor. Under N.J.S.A. § 43-21-19(i)(6), workers are considered employees unless there is no control over how the individual does their job, their services are different than the usual course of business, and the individual works in an “independently established trade.”
There are tests to determine whether the aforementioned circumstances are present and, therefore, whether an individual is an independent contractor or not. To determine control over work, factors like whether you are given orders or instructions are considered. For the type of work performed, it needs to be different than the work normally done by the company. For example, doing electrical wiring in an office building would be different than what office workers do. Finally, the individual needs to work and operate independently from whatever entity could be considered their employer. All of these requirements must be met for someone to be considered an independent contractor in New Jersey. This is a rather high bar to meet, so you should have our lawyer examine your situation to see if this applies.
Have a Chat with Our East Orange, NJ Work Injury Lawyers
For a free analysis of your case and help with your work injury needs, call Legal Care New Jersey’s work injury lawyers at (732) 838-9769.