One moment you are carrying a box of supplies to your work station, and the next, you trip over a broken tile, fall, and injure your back. Do you take out your checkbook and pay the medical bills out of pocket, or turn to your employer for compensation? What is workers’ compensation, and how does it apply to you?
If you have been injured at work and have questions about your eligibility for compensation, contact Anthony Carbone, an expert Harrison Workers’ Compensation Attorney, today.
Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in New Jersey
In 2019, private industry employers in New Jersey reported over 69,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these numbers indicate a 2.5 incidence rate per 100 full-time workers, lower than the national average of 2.8. The report responsible for these numbers also showed the following:
- Trade, utilities, transportation, education, and health services accounted for 60 percent of the reported injuries and illnesses.
- Financial activities had an average incidence rate of 0.9, with education and health services averaging at 3.7
Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act (N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq.). is administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. It is a no-fault insurance program designed to compensate workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Typically, the benefits are made available regardless of fault, as long as they did not injure themselves on purpose.
If a worker receives workers’ compensation benefits, they forfeit their right to pursue a personal injury suit against their employer. Employers, on the other hand, must purchase workers’ compensation insurance and ensure employees receive fair and timely benefits.
If you have been injured while in the scope of your duties, an attorney can help you establish whether you qualify for benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Vs. Liability Claim
If you get injured or ill when performing your work duties, you may secure compensation in one of two ways. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case and your attorney’s advice, you could:
- File a Worker’s Compensation Claim
The workers’ compensation system is state-mandated and doesn’t require that you prove fault. In most cases, all you need to do is file an injury report with your employer and await benefits.
- File a Third-Party Liability Claim
The doctrine of exclusive remedy limits a worker from suing their employer if they recover benefits. This means that it may be impossible to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer unless they intentionally injure you.
Nonetheless, you can still pursue a claim against a non-employer third party who is at fault for your injury or illness, such as an electrician or landlord.
Talk to a Harrison Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Harrison, a town in Hudson County, has a population of 13,620 as of the 2010 census. Many of these residents are employers, while even more are employees. Under New Jersey Law, the former must carry insurance to protect the latter from the fall out of a work-related injury or illness.
Anthony Carbone is an experienced Harrison Workers’ Compensation Attorney who has been defending the rights of workers in New Jersey for over 30 years. If you have been injured at work in Harrison, contact him at 201-733-2230 to discuss your legal right to pursue compensation.