In the case of when someone is injured in a slip & fall or trip & fall at work, there are two levels of analysis. If the reason for the fall or for the trip or the slip is the result of the negligence of your employer, then New Jersey Workers’ compensation laws would control. In the State of New Jersey, there is a Workers’ Compensation Statute that controls cases involving injuries suffered by workers while on the job. Of course, we have attorneys that specialize in this area.
Workers’ compensation laws have created a system wherein employees cannot sue their employers for workplace injuries because it is felt that opening the floodgates of litigation could result in too many claims causing too many employers to go out of business. The workers’ compensation system controls the analysis of the injuries and the treatment of injuries.
However, if someone who is notyour employer was responsible for the condition that caused your slip or trip while you are at the workplace or on the job, then you would have both the workers’ compensation claim and the right to pursue the non-employer in a separate lawsuit for those same injuries.
For example, a maintenance company that maintains the floors at your office building may put too much wax on the marble floors, causing you to slip and fall and be injured whiled at work. In this hypothetical, you would pursue your claim against your employer through the workers’ compensation system, and separately sue the maintenance company for negligently waxing the marble floors which caused your fall and injuries.
If you get an award, both from workers’ compensation and the third party responsible for the fall, the workers’ compensation insurance company will look for a two-thirds recovery of any monies it has paid out from any monies that you receive from the third party. The idea is that it isn’t fair for a victim to recover twice for the same injuries, so the workers’ compensation system attempts to recoup some of the money it has paid out. It is commonly known as a “comp lien”.