Can I File a Personal Injury Claim if I Receive Worker’s Compensation?

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Being injured on the job can have devastating effects. You may require extensive medical treatment. In addition, you might be out of work for a considerable amount of time. While New York Workers’ Compensation benefits cover medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain amount, there are certain circumstances under which an injured worker may be able to also file a personal injury claim.

Understanding Worker’s Compensation

Under New York law, all employers are required to have Workers’ Compensation insurance. This is a form of insurance meant to help employees who suffer injuries in workplace-related accidents.  

If you have suffered an injury during the course of your employment, filing for and obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can help cover the costs of necessary medical care related to the accident as well as lost wages up to a certain amount. Reimbursement for lost wages under Workers’ Compensation is typically calculated as two-thirds of your weekly wages multiplied by the percentage of your disability. 

Workers’ Compensation may provide benefits for injuries that arose from a range of work-related accidents such as slip and falls, construction site accidents, and car accidents. However, some categories of workers are not entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation such as volunteers or independent contractors, among others. Additionally, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or intended to cause the accident or injury, you may be disqualified from receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. 

There are strict statutes of limitation concerning filing Workers’ Compensation claims. New York Workers’ Compensation law has stringent filing guidelines that must be followed. If you do not notify your employer within thirty days of the accident, you may lose any rights you have to benefits.

Filing a Third-Party Claim

Under New York law, an injured worker cannot sue their employer or coworkers as a result of workplace accidents.  Workers’ Compensation is generally an employee’s only remedy to recover financially for injuries in the workplace.

Nonetheless, there are certain circumstances under which you may be able to file a personal injury claim for negligence against a third-party if you have suffered an injury while working. These types of actions can hold a third-party liable for any negligence on their part that contributed to the accident which caused your injuries. Common scenarios involving third-party liability can include:

  • Car accidents during the course of employment
  • Accidents arising from contractor negligence/third-party safety violations
  • Slip and falls or other accidents that occurred on the premises of another

Prevailing in a personal injury action, or obtaining a settlement, can help you recover beyond what Workers’ Compensation benefits provide.  A successful plaintiff may be awarded damages for unreimbursed medical expenses, out of pocket costs, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of future earnings, and future medical expenses.    

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been in a work-related accident, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible following the accident as there are strict statutes of limitation in place for both filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits and commencing a personal injury action.  An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you of your legal rights and remedies concerning any third-party benefits to which you might be entitled. 

Scott Baron & Associates, P.C. has been helping work-related accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries for nearly three decades.  Call today to schedule a consultation. 

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