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Workers’ Compensation: Can I Sue My Employer Instead?

Workers’ Compensation

A personal injury attorney will assess your injury claim from every angle in order to determine how they can maximize your benefits and help you receive the compensation you deserve. In a workers’ compensation claim, an attorney will assess whether or not there is a third party that can have a lawsuit brought against them for their negligence. This third-party lawsuit can assess compensation areas that workers’ compensation benefits do not cover, such as pain and suffering.

In the state of New York, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for injuries sustained during the course of employment – even if the accident was due to your employer’s negligence. However, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against a third-party that is not associated with your employer – as long as they contributed to your injury or illness.

Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents

The most common example for a third-party liability claim is that of a motor vehicle accident. If you are involved in an accident on your way to work, you may be able to file a third party claim. You must be involved in an accident that is not your fault and that driving duty must be a work-related act in order to collect workers’ compensation and file the third-party claim. This claim would allow you to collect damages not covered by workers’ compensation, including future lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as non-economic damages.

Injuries That Occur on Another Owner’s Property

If you are working on someone else’s property as part of your job, and you are injured in a dangerous condition, you may have an eligible claim against that property owner or manager. In these instances, premise liability would take over. Your attorney would have to determine if the dangerous condition was due to the owner or manager’s direct cause or negligence. For example, you fall down a stairwell at a meeting with a client. It is later determined that the owner knew the stair rails were defective and neglected to fix them. You would be able to sue that property owner for their negligence and property defect and still receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Subcontractors and Construction Sites

In the construction industry, injuries that occur on these jobsites pose unique legal issues. If injured on a construction site while being employed for a subcontractor, you may be able to bring a suit against the general contractor. The general contractor is often required to maintain a safe construction site for everyone working on that site – including all subcontractors hired.

Speak With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Regarding a Potential Third Party Claim

Not all work-related injuries are eligible for third party claims in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. That is why it is important to consult with an attorney. The worker’s compensation attorneys at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. can assess your work injury and determine if you have a valid third-party claim in addition to your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Call 1-877-737-4806 to schedule a consultation or contact an attorney online with your questions.

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