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When Can Injured Workers Bring a New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawsuit?

February 26, 2020

Injured workers have several possibilities when it comes to obtaining compensation after an on-the-job accident. Under the New Hampshire workers’ compensation laws, most workplace accidents will not result in an employer being held civilly liable for damages an employee suffers while on the job. This is because the worker’s compensation law is an injured employee’s exclusive remedy. Thus, when someone is injured on the job, they can pursue a no-fault workers’ compensation claim, but they cannot generally pursue a New Hampshire personal injury claim against their employer.

Of course, there are a number of exceptions to this general rule. The first is if an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. State law requires that all qualifying employers maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy. In exchange for meeting this requirement, employers cannot be sued by an injured employee. However, when an employer fails to obtain such a policy, they are not protected by the state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Another way that an injured employee may be able to obtain compensation for their injuries is through a third-party personal injury claim. Workers’ compensation claims are between an injured employee and their employer. However, if a third-party negligently caused the employee’s injuries, that party may be liable in a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a truck driver who is employed by a trucking company is struck by a forklift while helping unload cargo at his destination, the truck driver may have a New Hampshire premises liability claim against the store (assuming that he too is not employed by the store). Third-party claims can raise some complex issues, especially if the injured employee also obtains workers’ compensation after the accident.

Another way that an injured employee may be able to bring a claim after a New Hampshire workplace injury is if there is a specific statute allowing them to do so. For example, under the Federal Employers Liability Act, railroad employees are not barred by workers’ compensation law when it comes to pursuing a claim against their employer. Thus, if a railroad employee is injured while on the job, they can pursue a personal injury claim against their employer. Importantly, unlike workers’ compensation claims, these cases require a showing that the employer was somehow negligent.

Those who have been injured in a New Hampshire workplace accident may have a number of options, depending on the accident that caused their injuries. However, regardless of the chosen course of action, there are strict timelines that must be followed.

Have You Been Injured in a New Hampshire Workplace Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a New Hampshire on-the-job accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation, either through a workers’ compensation claim or through a New Hampshire personal injury claim. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we represent injury victims and their families in all types of claims, including workplace accidents. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today, call 800-804-2004. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.