No it is not. Filing a workers compensation case is a claim filed with the NJ Department of Labor and is an Administrative procedure to process all work related injuries. Since it is not a lawsuit (unlike third party worker injury lawsuits) filed in the Court system of the State of NJ, these claims have their own rules, procedures, and special court system. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance so in most cases your employer is not involved in the claim. Employers need to be mindful that the workers’ compensation law that was passed in 1911 was designed to protect employers from lawsuits by their employees. This powerful law precludes any employee from suing their employer no matter how negligent or improper the conduct. Even dangerous and unsafe conditions do not overrule this law.
Since all employers were granted this huge protection from lawsuits, the founders of the workers’ compensation law felt compelled to provide something to employees who were suddenly stripped of their ability to sue their employer for work related injuries. Hence, the creation of the no fault system in workers’ compensation, which we have lived with for over 100 years. The law requires all employees to be covered for work related injuries and conditions no matter who or what was at fault. The term we hear is the “Great Trade Off” between employers and their workers, which means you promise not to sue your employer and the employer promises to cover you for your work related injury.
If you have any questions about a work place injury, please contact one of our experienced attorneys in any of our eight offices.