Photo of Bryan R. Gavin and Salvatore Imbornone Jr.

New Jersey

Personal Injury Attorneys

Willful negligence: a bar to workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Workplace accidents occur all the time. Far too often, they leave innocent and unsuspecting workers seriously injured. Recovering from these injuries can be difficult from a physical and emotional perspective, but it can also be costly. Medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages can all leave a financial crater in your life, making it hard to secure the treatment that you need and meet your everyday expenses. While you might be able to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of defending your actions in the workplace.

Why you should be aware of willful negligence

Under New Jersey law, you can recover compensation from your employer, typically in the form of workers’ compensation, if you’re injured in your line of work. However, your employer and its insurance company may be able to sidestep paying out if they can show that you acted in a willfully negligent fashion and that your willful negligence caused your injuries.

What is willful negligence?

In its most basic terms, willful negligence is behavior that deliberately disregards your health and safety. To be considered willful, the conduct in question has to be pretty egregious, but that won’t stop employers and insurance companies from trying to place the blame at your feet. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re documenting everything pertaining to your workplace injury, speaking to witnesses, and consulting with your medical provider. Hopefully the facts that you gather will show that your behavior was anything but willfully negligent.

Protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits

The workers’ compensation system can be fraught with legal challenges. Don’t let those trip you up and prevent you from securing the compensation that you need to find financial stability and obtain needed medical treatment. If you’d like assistance in that regard, then you may want to consult with an experienced attorney of your choosing.