Whether it’s a fall, knee injury, heavy machinery accident, or another type of accident, when an injury happens at work, you shouldn’t have to bear the cost of medical bills and missed income. Many New York workers qualify for workers compensation benefits.

A New York employer’s workers’ compensation insurance covers at least some of the costs of your injuries and pays for things like medical expenses and lost wages. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning workers can collect benefits regardless of who was to blame for the accident. Generally, by filing a New York workers’ compensation claim, employees are barred from filing a separate lawsuit against their employer. However, there are a few exceptions for which employees can sue their employers for work-related illnesses and injuries. 

Differences Between New York Workers Compensation & Injury Lawsuit

New York workers compensation benefits generally pay for all medical bills that result from your work-related injury or illness. Workers comp also covers a portion of your income for time missed while you recover from your work injury. However, that income benefit does not fully replace your income and has a maximum amount, determined by state law. This can often leave injured workers without enough compensation to keep up with their finances. 

By filing a personal injury lawsuit, the victim can collect money for damages beyond the limitation of the New York workers compensation system. A personal injury claim or lawsuit can seek compensation for the entire amount of lost income. And, in some cases, it can also include compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, or even punitive damages. Some of the circumstances under which you are allowed to bring a lawsuit against your employer for job-related injuries:

Intentional Employer Acts

You may be able to sue your employer for harm caused by their intentional acts if they have acted with the specific intent of harming you. Proving intentional harm in a workplace injury in New York is a difficult standard to meet, but not impossible. A common example is an employer who takes a shortcut or removes a safety guard from a piece of equipment to save money or time. Because they acted with outright and intentional negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit. However, remember that showing mere negligence is not sufficient. The act must be deliberate. 

Your Employer Has No or Insufficient Workers’ Comp Insurance

Employers in almost all states are required to carry adequate workers’ comp insurance. In fact, New York law requires all employers, who are not covered under federal programs, have workers’ compensation coverage or be approved for self-insurance. If they do not, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages for your work-related injury or illness. Additionally, failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance is considered a serious offense under the law and comes with hefty fines and penalties.

Third-Party Lawsuits in New York

In some cases, you may also be able to sue a third party other than your employer who is partially responsible for your injury. Common examples of third party lawsuits in addition to workers compensation claims are situations involving vehicle accidents. For example, suppose you suffer an injury in a car accident at work caused by defective brakes on your work vehicle. In that case, you might be able to sue the manufacturer of those brakes, in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim. Other third-parties that may be liable include property owners, General Contractors, or individuals.

After a work injury in New York, you have the right to file a claim for benefits; however, the process of actually obtaining benefits is a major challenge for most people. An experienced New York workers compensation attorney can handle your case and make sure you get the benefits you need to recover from your injury and get back to work. 

Brandon J. Broderick, Workers Compensation & Injury Lawyers

At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New York City and New York State with their workers’ compensation and injury matters. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, contact us immediately to understand your options.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Thu, 06/23/2022 - 14:39

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