Hundreds of workers in New Jersey are injured in on the job accidents like falls, construction accidents and forklift accidents. When serious injuries happen, injured workers and their families often suffer serious financial hardship. Workers’ compensation benefits just don’t provide enough security for injured workers, especially when the injuries cause a temporary or permanent disability. That’s why it’s so important to consider a lawsuit, which will require advice from an experienced work accident lawyer in NJ.
What many New Jersey residents who are hurt at work don’t know is that they may be able to file a civil injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation for their injuries. Read more about getting compensated in a work injury lawsuit in New Jersey.
Our lawyers often get asked the same questions from injured workers who want to know about their legal rights after a work accident. Below are three of the most common questions about work injury lawsuits in NJ:
- Can I sue my employer?
- What are the chances of success?
- How long does the case take to resolve?
Can I sue My Employer?
In most work injury accidents in New Jersey, the employer will not be able to be sued. There are some exceptions to this rule. In a small percentage of cases, the employer might be held liable for committing an intentional wrong that led directly to the accident.
However, NJ law does allow lawsuits against non-employer parties. This is something most injured workers are surprised to learn. In about 40% of all work injury cases, some other party can be held liable for negligence in causing the accident. In a work injury lawsuit, there may be multiple parties, such as a subcontractor or product manufacturer.
A subcontractor may be held liable for the injuries sustained by an employee of another contractor. For example, a steel worker is injured on a construction site in North New Jersey and falls several feet from a roof opening. The roof opening was supposed to be protected by guardrails, as per a contract the general contractor of the project had with a subcontractor. The injured worker would be able to bring an injury lawsuit against that subcontractor.
A product manufacturer or retailer may be held liable for a defective product injury. For example, a factory worker in New Jersey is injured when a defective piece of machinery malfunctions and causes a serious arm injury. The company that manufactured the machine, a distributor and/or a retailer may be held liable in a product injury lawsuit.
What are the Chances of Success?
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for succeeding in a New Jersey work injury lawsuit. Success of a given case will depend on the strength of the evidence. In work injury cases, success often boils down to two critical factors. First, there must be sufficient evidence of negligence. This requires getting the accident investigated as soon as possible and as thoroughly as possible. Oftentimes, injured workers come to our work injury lawyers many months after the accident occurred, when evidence has disappeared and witness memories have faded. It’s crucial to have the mechanism of injury investigated at the outset. This preserves valuable evidence and thus makes for a stronger case.
Second, the damages must be serious. Not every work injury will justify the time and expense involved in bringing a lawsuit. The injuries and resulting damages must be serious enough to justify proceeding. A broken arm that heals fully and doesn’t result in any major financial loss is not likely to warrant litigating a complex lawsuit that requires multiple, costly experts. On the other hand, if the broken arm doesn’t heal, results in medical complications and causes long term damage, then the injuries would be serious enough to warrant proceeding. The more serious the injury, the greater the chances of success.
How Long Does a Case Take to Resolve?
In New Jersey, depending on which county the case is filed in, a work injury lawsuit can take anywhere from 18 months to 36+ months to resolve. This does not include any time for appeals. There is such a wide range of time because resolving a case depends on complexity of the facts and legal issues. In the best case scenario, where the injury is clear and there are no major legal issues, a case could get to trial inside of 18 months, after the Complaint is filed. In the worst case scenario, where the injury is not complex and there are many legal issues, a case could get to trial well after 36 months.
It is important to note that most cases will be resolved before trial. In fact, about 90% of cases get settled before trial. However, the better prepared a case is for trial, the greater the chances of resolution before trial. Attorneys representing large companies and insurance companies will take notice of a case that is presented well by a lawyer representing an injured worker.
For more info, visit the PA & NJ work injury law library.
Work Injury Lawyers in NJ – Offices in Cherry Hill, Atlantic City & Iselin
Our work injury lawyers handle cases across NJ including construction accidents, factory accidents and equipment accidents. Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience and have obtained over $150 million in work injury cases. Call for a free consultation. 609.223.8900
DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.