Sanitation Worker Who Lost Leg in Morning Collision Reached 4.3 Million Dollar Settlement
Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 10, 2022 – Sanitation worker Lamar Bland was hit by an SUV while working around his garbage truck in Ocean, New Jersey. The collision caused Bland’s leg to be crushed between the SUV and the garbage truck. Doctors tried to save his left leg; however, it was too mangled and had to be amputated below the knee.
Bland filed a lawsuit against the other driver, Juan Jorge, and his employer, Unique Scaffolding Systems, LLC. Jorge claimed that his windshield was fogged up the morning of the accident. He also stated that the crash happened when he took his eyes off the road to reach for his coffee cup. The lawsuit called Bland’s injury as life-altering. Bland’s additional legal claims for damages include pain and suffering, financial costs, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The parties settled for $4,350,000 for the accident. Unique Scaffolding Systems’ two insurers paid the total amount. The primary insurer paid a $1 million payout. The second insurer, which was the excess insurance carrier, paid $3,350,000.
Under New Jersey Worker’s Compensation laws, the exclusive remedy for an injury that occurs during a work-related activity is worker’s compensation. This option means that all other means of legal action are surrendered. However, an employee may file a civil lawsuit if the injury was caused by the wrongful act of a third party. The worker’s compensation claim and third-party liability lawsuit may be filed for the same work-related accident.
An employee who files a worker’s compensation claim and a third-party lawsuit can receive a double recovery for the same work-related accident. However, the employee cannot receive the total amount twice. Under New Jersey law, if the worker’s compensation insurance pays benefits to the employee, it is entitled to get its money back from the money awarded to the employee in the third-party liability lawsuit. Therefore, the third party reimburses the worker’s compensation payment to the employer or the employer’s insurance carrier.
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