Question: Aside from reporting my work injury while working at a factory in New Jersey, what else should I do?
Answer: Depending on how the accident happened, you may have a personal injury lawsuit against another party. You should talk to a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey to evaluate your case and assess whether you have a third party case.
I am not sure how your work accident happened, but I will provide 2 examples of NJ work-related accidents where you can sue another party.
Slip and Fall Accident at Work
You walked over to a co-worker’s station. You slipped and fell on the floor and fractured your ankle. As it turned out, the floor was just mopped by a cleaning company hired by your employer. There should have been cones put up to warn people walking through the area that the floor was wet; however, the person who mopped the floor forgot. In this case, you would file a workers’ comp claim with your employer because you were injured while at work. In addition, because your slip and fall accident at work was due to the negligence of the cleaning company’s employee, you would be able to file a NJ slip and fall injury lawsuit against the company.
Products Liability Case
You were working on an industrial machine and your finger got caught in the machine. You lost the tip of your finger as a result of the accident. As it turned out, the machine should have had a guard which would have prevented your finger from getting caught in the machine. In this situation, you would be able to sue the manufacturer of the industrial machine for your finger injury, in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
This type of third party personal injury lawsuit against the machine manufacturer is called a products liability lawsuit. The theory of liability against the manufacturer is that the machine was designed defectively, i.e., did not have a guard. If the machine is in fact defectively designed, you will probably prevail in your case against the machine manufacturer.
You may also be able to sue your employer in this situation depending on the circumstances of your accident. There are very limited circumstances when an injured worker can sue their employer, and one of those limited exceptions is if the employer committed an intentional wrong. In this scenario, if the machine had a guard, but the employer intentionally removed the guard knowing that it would expose machine operators to the risk of injury, then the employer committed an intentional wrong. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer for the damages and injury you sustained as a result of the industrial machinery accident.
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