Top Questions – Work Accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

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In this article, top injury lawyer Jeff Laffey answers 3 questions about PA & NJ work accidents. Can I sue my employer? Can I file for workers' compensation benefits? Can I get compensated for pain and suffering?

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Workers in Pennsylvania or New Jersey who suffer serious injuries due to job related accidents often have many questions and concerns. Below is a discussion of the top 3 most common questions after a major work accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

1. Can I sue my employer?

This is one of the first questions a worker who is injured in Pennsylvania or New Jersey has. Under the laws of both states, an employer typically cannot be sued for a work injury, even if the employer was at fault (negligent in some way). However, employers can be sued for work injuries in PA or NJ under certain circumstances. One of the most common scenarios involves a work accident or injury caused by the employer’s willful misconduct, which is much more egregious conduct that ordinary negligence. Examples of willful misconduct include fraudulent conduct, deceit, and intentionally misleading others. An employer which falsifies work hazard documents over a period of time may be held liable when a worker is injured due to the same hazard.

2. Can I file for workers’ compensation benefits?

In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the vast majority of workers who are injured while on the job will be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Each state has specific rules on deadlines to notify an employer and deadlines to file claims. In addition, there are specific rules on procedures to obtain benefits. For instance, Pennsylvania workers are required to inform their employers within 21 days of the accident. In New Jersey, workers only have 14 days. However, it’s important to note that the laws of each state provide additional notice deadlines. In New Jersey, if 90 days pass and the worker fails to inform the employer, he may be ineligible for workers’ comp benefits altogether. Workers’ compensation laws in PA and NJ are very complex and often change. Visit our workers’ compensation law library for additional info.

3. Can I get compensated for pain and suffering?

Monetary compensation for pain and suffering damages is one of the most important, misunderstood parts of any work injury case. However, workers injured in Pennsylvania or New Jersey often rely solely on workers’ compensation benefits, which do not provide any compensation for pain and suffering. The laws of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey simply do not allow for injured workers to receive any benefits for pain and suffering. Rather, workers’ compensation covers medical bills and lost wages, and that’s it.

So, where does financial compensation for pain and suffering come from? In many cases, injured workers can receive compensation for pain and suffering by filing a civil lawsuit against an at-fault, non-employer party. This means that while the employer usually can’t be sued, other parties can. Typically, product manufacturers or other contractors may be liable for a work injury. For example, a forklift manufacturer may be liable for defective design or manufacture of a forklift that results in a tip-over accident.

Related: Evaluating Pain & Suffering in Work Accident Injury Cases in Philadelphia

Laffey, Bucci & Kent Attorneys – “Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Philadelphia, PA”

Work injury lawyer Jeff Laffey has received some of the highest ratings in the area of personal injury law. Since 2005, he has been recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top rated lawyers in Philadelphia. He is also Peer Rated by Lawyers.com for high professional achievement.

If you or a loved one was injured in a work or construction accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, speak to one of our accident lawyers immediately. Call for a free consultation. (866) 641-0806

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