On-The-Job Injuries: Can You Sue Your Employer?
While many injured workers would like to sue their employers, the reality is that New York law typically bars employees from suing their bosses following a work-related injury. This is because the workers’ compensation system is supposed to be the exclusive remedy for workers who are injured on the job — meaning workers normally cannot sue their employers or co-workers, even if they are responsible for causing the injury.
The basic idea behind the workers’ compensation system is that workers give up their rights to file a lawsuit against their employers in exchange for workers’ comp benefits, including medical care and a percentage of lost wages.
Third-Party Claims: A Legal Option Outside Of Workers’ Comp
However, you should know that just because you normally cannot sue your employer doesn’t mean you don’t have other legal options available besides workers’ comp, especially if you are injured while working construction.
In fact, if a third party — which includes anyone who isn’t your employer or co-worker — is at fault for your work-related injury, you may be able to file a third-party claim. Some common examples of third-party construction claims in New York include instances in which:
- A worker is injured when a property owner or general contractor fails to provide sufficient or properly installed equipment for those working on ladders or atop scaffolding, in violation of New York’s Scaffolding Law.
- A worker is injured when a property owner or general contractor fails to provide necessary safety equipment in general, in violation of New York Labor Law Section 241.
- A worker suffers an injury due to a defective/dangerous tool or piece of machinery.
- A worker is injured due to the negligent actions of any third party such as a delivery driver of subcontractor.
As you can see, third-party claims can arise in a wide range of situations, including instances of falling objects, trench collapses, and falls from ladders and scaffolding, just to name a few.
In many cases, victims of construction accidents may be able to recover significantly more through a third-party claim than workers’ comp — although you need an experienced attorney on your side to make sure you do things right.
Edelman & Edelman: We Will Pursue Maximum Compensation For You
At Edelman & Edelman, P.C., our lawyers are not afraid to take on complex cases — in fact, that is all we do. Simply put, once we take on your case, you can count on us to use every resource available to win your claim and help you obtain the maximum recovery possible.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make following a serious construction accident is to only seek legal representation from a law firm that focuses solely on workers’ comp, especially since you may be able to collect so much more through a third-party claim, when available.