Pennsylvania & New Jersey Work Accident Injury Lawyers
Hire the Best Work Accident Lawyer for Your Case
Pennsylvania and New Jersey workers who are injured in accidents are often in the dark when it comes to their legal rights to file claims for financial compensation. Workers have legal rights to file two types of work accident claims: a workers’ compensation claim and a separate negligence lawsuit. These two areas of law are separate from each other and also very complex. Therefore, it is crucial to hire the best work accident lawyer for your case.
What is a work accident lawyer?
Work accident litigation is a specialty of personal injury-accident law. Other personal injury law specialties include defective products, motor vehicle accidents, and medical malpractice.
Work accident lawyers are often confused with workers’ compensation lawyers. Workers’ compensation lawyers represent injured workers solely for a workers’ compensation claim which includes benefits for medical bills and indemnity payments (i.e., partial payments for temporary or permanent disability).
Work accident lawyers represent injured workers for a tort or negligence claim. Often referred to as a “third party case,” a tort claim for a work accident lawsuit may be filed against various non-employer parties, such as contractors, subcontractors, property owners, architects, etc.
A typical example involves a fall accident at a construction site. The injured worker may have a valid claim against the general contractor for the site or a subcontractor.
A work accident lawyer’s job is to ensure that their client, the injured worker, succeeds in their lawsuit and receives maximum financial compensation for their injuries. An award for financial compensation will be based on multiple factors, such as the extent of the injuries and medical treatment; lost wages, if any; and the nature and extent of the individual’s pain and suffering.
In addition, it is important to note that many work accident lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will include a special, derivative claim, known as a loss of consortium claim. These claims are reserved for spouses whose lives are affected by the injured spouse’s accident and injuries.
Do you need a work accident lawyer?
Consulting with a work accident lawyer is important for two reasons. First, an experienced work accident injury lawyer will assess the facts and determine whether there is a valid claim or not. Second, the lawyer, once hired, will ensure that the injured worker receives maximum compensation for the accident and resulting injuries.
Every work accident case is unique. The key question is whether there is a viable third party claim, which depends on important facts, such as the type of accident, where the accident occurred, how the accident occurred, etc. Therefore, short of consulting a work accident lawyer, there is no way to be sure whether or not an injured worker has a valid work accident-injury claim.
Related: Workers’ Rights to a Safe Workplace in Pennsylvania & New Jersey
How do work accident lawyers get paid?
Like with most personal injury lawyers, work accident injury lawyers get paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer is paid if and only if there is a financial recovery. If there is no financial recovery, then the client owes nothing. The lawyer bears all the financial risk and pays for all costs associated with the case, such as court costs, investigation costs, expert fees, and trial fees. Then at the end of the case, these costs are reimbursed out of the total financial recovery amount. Such costs can easily exceed $5,000 in basic cases and $100,000 in complex cases.
This is how typical fee agreements work. However, it is crucial to read and understand all clauses of a fee agreement because there may be significant changes in the typical arrangement. For instance, some lawyers will require the client to reimburse the lawyer even if the case is dismissed or lost.
How can you be sure you have a quality work accident lawyer on your side?
Just like every individual is unique, every work accident lawyer is also unique. That being said, there are three things to look for when hiring a work accident lawyer: experience, respect, and reputation.
Work injury cases are very complex and often require a keen eye in order to determine who the liable parties are. Some lawyers, especially inexperienced ones, don’t know to request and review important contracts related to the parties. For example, contracts between contractors at a construction site are key components of a construction site accident injury case. Oftentimes, there are dozens of contracts to request and review. This is just one example of the complexities of work accident lawsuits; there are many more.
In addition, how the lawyer treats others is usually a good indicator of how the client (injured worker) will be treated. As the client, the injured worker has the right to hire/fire the lawyer and make major decisions, like whether to file the lawsuit, whether to settle and for how much.
Lastly, the lawyer’s reputation is an important factor in how the other side evaluates the case. It is key to research a work accident lawyer prior to making the decision to actually hire that lawyer. Look for prior case histories and results. Also, it is important to ask for the names of prior clients who’d be willing to discuss their experiences with the lawyer. In addition, check with the local/state bar associations to find any disciplinary history.
Contact the Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (717 231-3380) to obtain a disciplinary history, or you can look up the disciplinary history of any lawyer licensed in Pennsylvania here.
Contact the New Jersey Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court (609 984-7791) to obtain a disciplinary history.