What You Need to Know About Third Party Claims and Workers’ Compensation in NJ

If you are injured on the job in New Jersey, you are not allowed to sue your employer by filing a tort claim; instead, you must file for workers’ compensation in NJ.  However, a third party claim can further complicate an already stressful situation.  Here are a few things that you need to know about third party claims and your Workers’ Compensation case.

What is a Third Party Claim?

A third party claim can come into play in several situations.  In most New Jersey cases, you can file for Workers’ Compensation regardless of who was at fault for the incident that caused your injury.  Here is one example.  If you are a delivery driver for your company, and a drunk driver on the job hits you, you will file a third party claim against the driver who hit you as well as their insurance company.

Another example arises in a situation where you are injured at work, but your injury is caused in whole or in part by a defect in a product you were using while at work.  In this situation, you may have a third party claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the product you were using, as well as a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits.  If you believe you suffered a work-related injury as the result of a defective product, you should seek legal advice as quickly as possible.  Products liability claims can be difficult to analyze, and often require prompt action to preserve your claim.

Your employer will pay for your medical bills and disability benefits as governed by the Workers’ Compensation claim.  Because of this, the employer’s insurance company can seek damages from the responsible party.

Third Party Awards will Repay the Workers’ Compensation Claim

If there is a civil lawsuit brought against the third party, often referred to as a third party tortfeasor, your employer can place a lien on those monies.  This prevents the plaintiff from collecting a double award.

There is a statute of limitations when it comes to the subrogation claim.  The injured has one year to file the third party claim.  After that year has expired, the employer can file a subrogation claim in your name.

Third party claims can be complication when it comes to Workers’ Compensation in NJ.  If you have questions, contact an attorney today.