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Intentional tort lawsuit versus workers' compensation claim

New Jersey residents who have suffered injuries while on the job have every right to wonder what options they have when it comes to seeking compensation for their losses. Most employers are required to provide workers' compensation insurance which can cover a great deal, but is it only way in which one can seek to recover any damages sustained as a result of a workplace injury? Some would say no.

After one suffers a work-related injury, he or she has the right to file a workers' compensation claim through his or her employer. Work comp benefits can cover one's medical expenses, lost wages, disability payments and various other things, making it possible for injured workers to get the care that they need and move forward. Getting the full benefit may be a bit of a challenge, but an attorney can help injured employees fight for fair compensation.

An article that was recently published, though, suggested that more injured workers are looking to file lawsuits against their employers in the effort to seek compensation. Workers' compensation exclusivity laws are in place to protect companies from such lawsuits. However, the circumstances surrounding one's injury do matter and may give way to filing civil claims against one's employer.

According to the article, injured employees are turning to intentional tort lawsuits rather than depending on the workers' compensation insurance provided by their companies. In an intentional tort case, the victim will have to prove that his or her employer knew a hazard existed and intentionally did nothing to correct the issue, knowing it could cause injury or death. This is definitely not an option for everyone, but for those who are allegedly victims of employer negligence it may be possible to go this route.

Workers' compensation claims and intentional tort lawsuits have very different purposes. One is simply to gain access to care and financial assistance and the other is to hold an employer accountable if willful violations contributed to his or her injury. An experienced attorney can help New Jersey residents who have been injured while on the job in pursuing the actions best suited for their cases.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Suits target safety violations to bypass comp", Kristen Beckman, April 3, 2017

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