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Suing a Third-Party for a Work Place Accident

It is important for employees to understand their rights when they have a workplace accident. For employees who are injured at work, there may be several avenues for recovering compensation.

Workers’ Compensation

If an employee suffers an on the job or work related injury or occupational illness, workers’ compensation will cover an employee’s medical bills, as well as a portion of their lost wages. When an employee suffers a fatal injury, workers compensation will also provide benefits, including funeral and burial expenses, paid to surviving family members.

Positives & Negatives of Workers Compensation

The positive of workers compensation is that it covers an injured employee’s medical bill as well as a percentage of their lost wages. The employee is not required to prove negligence on the employer’s part. The negative of workers compensation is that it prevents an injured employee from bringing a personal injury claim against their employer & co-employees.

Third Party Actions

While workers may be barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against their employers and co-employees, they are not precluded you from suing a third-party who contributed to their work related injury. Third-party liability may arise when an individual or entity that is different from their employer causes the workplace accident. So, if the employee is injured by the negligence of a third-party, the injured employee can bring a workers compensation claim as well as a claim for damages against the negligent third-party. For example, if an employee is involved in a motor vehicle accident while on the job, the employee would be entitled to receive workers compensation benefits and also have a claim for personal injury damages against the negligent third-party driver. This third-party claim allows the employee to potentially seek compensation for pain and suffering, which is typically more significant than that offered by workers’ compensation.

Examples of Suing a Third Party for a Work-Related Injury

  1. Car Accidents: A common example of a third-party claim arising from a workers’ compensation action is when someone gets into a car accident while driving for work. Common examples include car accidents involving truck drivers, delivery-people, sales people, construction workers and home health workers.
  2. Trip, Slip & Falls: If you are working on someone else’s property and you are injured due to a dangerous condition on their property, you may be able to sue the building owner &/or property manager in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits. Common examples include falls down broken or defective stairways, slip & falls on garbage or debris, slip-and-falls on icy walkways or elevator accidents.
  3. Injuries at Construction Sites: If you’re injured on a construction site while working for a subcontractor, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the general contractor. As well, New York’s Labor Laws impose liability on the property owners where the construction, demolition or renovation is taking place.
If you or a loved one was injured on the job, the personal injury attorneys at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are here to help. The accident attorneys at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are skilled at handling personal injury claims for employees injured on the job. Our firm’s motto is “Don’t Be A Victim Twice”.  If you are a victim of an accident at your job, call 1-800-VICTIM2 (1-800-842-8462) to schedule a confidential consultation. The call is free. The consultation is free. You don’t pay us unless we are successful. That’s our “Our Fee Guarantee – No Fee Unless Successful

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