If you’re injured at your job, and you’re not able to work, what benefits are available? Are there options other than workers’ compensation? Will you be able to file a lawsuit? After treatment by a doctor for a job-related injury, you should contact a New York workplace injury lawyer at once.
You are about to read a brief discussion regarding injuries on the job and your options for recovering compensation after a job-related injury in New York. You will learn when you can – and when you can’t – bring a personal injury lawsuit arising from a work-related injury.
Construction is the most dangerous way to make a living in New York. In fact, in New York City alone, from January 2015 through December 2019, 59 construction workers were killed and another 3,045 were injured in New York City construction accidents.
Who’s at Risk for Workplace Injuries?
The complexities in construction injury cases can seem endless. New York’s construction industry is governed by a patchwork of local, state, and federal statutes. Injured construction workers will need the services of an attorney who knows the construction industry and the law.
But no line of work is risk-free. About three million job-related illnesses and injuries are reported in the United States each year, and anyone who is working could be suddenly, seriously injured.
Injuries at work are sometimes catastrophic. The most severe injuries – spinal cord and brain injuries, for instance – may mean permanent disability and medical care for life. Of course, even less severe injuries can prevent you from working – for far too long.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Workers’ compensation provides benefits to a worker who becomes ill or injured at the job or because of the job. Employers purchase workers’ comp insurance coverage for employees, while the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board maintains and governs the system.
If you are injured at work, even before you file for workers’ compensation benefits, seek legal advice from a Bronx personal injury lawyer. There are several reasons why workers’ comp might be denied to you, but workers’ comp is not necessarily your only option for compensation.
In fact, if a job-related injury is severe or disabling, workers’ comp will not be adequate to cover all of your medical costs, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. Catastrophic injury costs pile up rapidly, especially if you are disabled or recovering and not currently earning income.
How Will a Workplace Injury Attorney Help You?
When an injury victim needs multiple surgeries and years of care, workplace injury attorneys can sometimes help victims recover additional compensation beyond the workers’ comp system. The right lawyer will work aggressively to recover the maximum available amount.
Consulting a personal injury lawyer from the very beginning is the wisest step to take after a job-related injury. Your personal injury attorney can determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation and whether you have legal grounds for seeking compensation with a personal injury lawsuit.
If a third party has any role in a job-related accident that injures you, compensation may be available through a third-party personal injury lawsuit. For example, let’s say you are delivering auto parts, and a negligent driver injures you in a traffic accident while you’re on the job.
If this happens to you, you will probably qualify for workers’ comp benefits, and you may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. In job-related accidents, a third party is any party other than your employer who has a share of the responsibility for your injury.
When Can You Bring a Lawsuit After a Workplace Injury?
Employees injured on the job in New York may also pursue personal injury lawsuits in these circumstances:
- Any employee who is injured using a defective or faulty product while working may file a product liability lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer.
- Any employee who is injured by exposure to a toxic substance may file a toxic tort claim against the substance’s manufacturer.
- Any employee injured by an employer’s malicious, intentional action may bring an injury lawsuit against the employer and outside of the workers’ compensation system. Such cases are extremely rare because the employer’s actions must be exceedingly egregious.
- Every New York employer must provide workers’ compensation coverage. If you are injured while working for an employer who has not complied with the requirement, you can probably proceed with a personal injury lawsuit against the employer.
Is a Third Party Liable for Your Workplace Injury?
Workers’ comp in New York does not compensate injured workers for personal pain and suffering. It does not provide punitive damages, nor does it hold employers responsible for workplace hazards. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you need to know if a third party has liability.
That’s another reason why you need a good injury lawyer’s advice and guidance from the start. A lawsuit provides more than a workers’ comp claim, but with a lawsuit, you’ll have to prove a third party had liability or that your employer was non-compliant or exceedingly negligent.
Third-party wrongful death claims are available to families who lose a loved one in a job-related accident. If a family member dies as the result of a workplace accident, you may be able to sue a third party for wrongful death in addition to the death benefits provided by worker’s comp.
If You Can’t Work, How Can You Afford a Lawyer’s Help?
After a work-related accident, your first meeting with a personal injury lawyer in the Bronx is offered with no cost or obligation. You will get help with and advice about your workers’ comp claim, and your lawyer will determine if you can pursue a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
If you move forward with a third-party personal injury lawsuit, you pay no lawyer’s fee unless and until you are compensated with a negotiated private settlement or with a trial jury’s verdict.
New York’s statute of limitations for most personal injury cases – the amount of time an injury victim has to take legal action – is three years. The deadline for families filing wrongful death claims is two years, although several narrow legal exceptions may extend these deadlines.
Do not wait two or three years to see a lawyer. Your lawyer should see the evidence while it’s fresh and speak to witnesses before their memories fade. After you’ve been treated for work-related injuries, schedule a legal consultation promptly with a Bronx workplace injury lawyer.