If you were injured on the job, you might think that you are limited to recovering compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. While injured workers generally cannot file for workers’ comp and file a personal injury lawsuit, there are many instances where a worker can file both types of claims.
To recover maximum compensation for your injury, it is important to know when you can sue your employer or another party in addition to filing for workers’ comp.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that balances the rights of employees and employers. While workers don’t have to prove that their employer or coworker was at fault for their injury in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, workers’ comp typically offers less compensation than a personal injury lawsuit. And employees injured on the job typically cannot sue their employer or coworker for a work-related injury.
When You Can Sue Your Employer
There are several exceptions to the rule that an injured worker cannot sue their employer or coworker. They include:
- Your employer or coworker intentionally hurt you: You might be able to sue your employer or a coworker if one of them intentionally harmed you (for example, they attacked you).
- Your employer has no workers’ comp insurance, or insufficient coverage: New York employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for all employees, including part-time employees, with limited exceptions. You can file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages for a work-related injury if they don’t have coverage, or don’t have enough coverage.
- You are a boat crewmember or an interstate railroad worker: These types of workers are authorized under different federal laws to sue their employer for damages when they get hurt on the job.
When You Can Sue a Third Party
You are probably more likely to sue a third party that does not work for your company for a work injury than you are to sue your employer. That’s because third parties are not entitled to the civil immunity that an employer is entitled to under workers’ compensation laws.
An injured worker may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against third parties that include:
- The manufacturer of a defective product: In cases where a worker is injured by a dangerous or defective product, the product maker may be subject to a lawsuit.
- The manufacturer of a toxic substance:Injuries involving a toxic substance may lead to a toxic tort against the manufacturer of the substance.
- Someone other than an employer or co-worker: On worksites such as construction sites, it is common for the employees of one company to work alongside employees and subcontractors of another company. New York State labor laws allow construction workers to sue third parties for an accident after they collect workers’ compensation benefits. These laws apply to many types of laborers.
Experienced Bronx personal injury attorney helps you after a work accident
Evan W. Kohn has been helping injured New Yorkers recover the compensation they are entitled to for more than 30 years. If you were hurt on the job, contact Mr. Kohn or call 718-866-3951 to schedule a free case review. Se habla español.