Damages in a New Jersey Construction Accident Case
Heavy machinery, sharp tools, and hair-raising heights—construction sites aren’t short on dangerous, life-threatening hazards. The types of damages available after a construction accident depend on a variety of factors including:
- Who or what caused the accident?
- Did negligence or intentional harm play a role?
- What kinds of damages were incurred?
- Is the injured party bringing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim?
That last point is the most important when it comes to the kinds of damages that may be available after a workplace accident.
When a worker is injured on a construction site in New Jersey, they would typically bring a claim against the workers’ compensation insurance of their employer. However, in the rare case that the employer intentionally caused the accident, the injured employee can bring a personal injury claim against their employer rather than going through the workers’ compensation system.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance and you have no basis for a personal injury claim, you can try to join the NJ Uninsured Employers Fund. This could provide medical benefits and temporary disability.
Another circumstance when a personal injury claim may be brought is if a third party—such as an outside contractor—caused the injury. If you find yourself in this scenario, and you also received workers’ compensation benefits, the insurance carrier of your employer can place a lien on your recovery in the third-party case and collect a portion of the financial award in that case to offset the workers’ compensation benefits paid.
Because most construction accident cases are workers’ compensation claims, that will be the focus of this article. To see a full list of all available benefits you may receive through workers’ compensation in New Jersey, please click here. In New Jersey, an injured construction worker may be able to obtain the following damages through workers’ compensation:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation covers reasonable and necessary medical care, hospital services, and prescriptions related to the injury. Your employer or their insurance carrier have the right to designate your medical providers for work injuries.
- Temporary Total Benefits: If your injury leaves you disabled for more than seven days, you can recover temporary total benefits. This covers 70 percent of your average weekly wage; however, it will not exceed the statutory maximum rate or fall below the minimum rate established by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. You can receive these benefits until you have returned to work, reached maximum medical improvement, or you have collected these benefits for the 400-week maximum. Updated rates may be found here.
- Permanent Partial Benefits: Did you suffer a permanent bodily impairment? If so, you may be entitled to weekly payments based on your functional loss.
- Permanent Total Benefits: If you are unable to return to gainful employment due to your work injury, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. Initially, these benefits are provided for 450 weeks, but they can continue beyond that time period if you can demonstrate that you remain totally disabled. These benefits are based on 70 percent of the average weekly wage but, again, cannot exceed the statutory maximum or fall below the statutory minimum.
- Death Benefits: If a member of your family died in a construction accident, any dependents may be entitled to receive funeral expenses and death benefits of up to $3,500. Weekly benefits may also be available based on 70 percent of the deceased worker’s wages, up to the statutory maximum.
Speak to a Construction Accident Attorney in New Jersey Today
Personal injury attorney Gerald H. Clark and the legal team at Clark Law Firm may be able to assist with your claim. We have decades of collective experience overseeing a wide range of injury cases including construction accidents, car wrecks, and many others. To book a free case review, dial 1-877-841-8855 or fill out our contact form HERE.