What are Workers’ Legal Rights After Fall Accidents at a NJ Construction Site?

What are NJ workers' legal rights after a work accident, such as a fall from a roof on a construction site? Is workers' comp the only source of recovery? Our top rated personal injury lawyer, Jeff Laffey, answers these questions.

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FAQ:  My husband is a roofer, and he fell from the second story of a building while working at a construction site in New Jersey.  He is seriously injured and has several broken bones throughout his body.  He will not be able to work for at least several months. What are his legal rights? Does he sue his employer?

Answer:  In general, pursuant to New Jersey workers’ compensation law, injured workers cannot sue their employers for injuries while at work even if the employers are at fault.

Workers’ Compensation After a Fall Accident at NJ Construction Site

Because your husband was injured in a fall accident while he was on the job at a NJ construction site, he can file a workers’ compensation claim, which covers his medical expenses and a portion of his wage loss.

Pursuant to New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker’s medical expenses incurred as a result of a work accident will be covered by the employer regardless of who was at fault.  Therefore, even if the accident was your husband’s fault, his medical expenses will be covered.

However, in exchange for this, the law provides that he cannot sue his employer for his work injuries even if the accident was caused by his employer’s negligence.  There are, however, limited exceptions to this.  Without knowing the facts and information about your husband’s fall, we would not be able tell you whether his accident meets one of the exceptions.

Worker’s compensation will also cover a portion of his lost income if your husband is not able to work for a period of time.  He will receive temporary total benefits or wage loss benefits.  However, he will not receive 100% of his wage loss.  He will receive about 70% of his weekly salary within minimum and maximum limits set by NJ workers’ compensation law.  It is best to talk to a New Jersey work accident injury lawyer about workers’ comp claims as the laws are very complex.

Third Party Lawsuit After Fall Accident at NJ Construction Site

Even though your husband may not be able to sue his employer for his accident, he may be able to file a lawsuit against other parties for his injuries and damages.

At any given construction site, there are multiple contractors and subcontractors.  If your husband’s fall was caused by another contractor, then he may be able to sue that contractor.  For instance, let’s assume guardrails were supposed to be installed on the roof by another contractor to prevent workers on the roof from falling.  However, the contractor didn’t install them, and your husband fell as a result.  In this case, your husband would be able to file a lawsuit against the contractor for failing to install the guardrails.

Related: Damages Available in a Workplace Fall Accident Case in Pennsylvania or New Jersey

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