If you have been injured in a Queens workplace accident you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits that will cover the costs associated with treating your injuries as well as provide wage replacement while you are unable to work. As a general rule, the Queens New York workers' compensation system is the exclusive remedy for injuries sustained in a workplace accident; however, you could be entitled to file suit against a third party in addition to filing a workers' compensation claim.
The workers' compensation system was developed to ensure that injured workers received benefits when they were injured while on the job without having to expend the time and money that a traditional personal injury lawsuit typically requires. The workers' compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning you are not required to show that your employer caused your injuries to be entitled to benefits. In exchange for not being required to prove fault, however, workers' compensation benefits are limited to two-thirds of your average weekly wage for wage replacement and the actual costs associated with your medical treatment. Pain and suffering damages and other consequential costs associated with a workplace injury are not compensable under the workers' compensation system. In addition, you cannot file a traditional personal injury lawsuit against your employer or a co-worker except in rare cases.
If, however, a third party caused, or contributed to, the accident that caused your injuries you do have the legal right to file a traditional lawsuit against the third party. By way of illustration, imagine that you work for a pest control company and are driving from one jobsite to the other when a collision occurs. You are clearly "on the job" for purposes of a workers' compensation claim. Therefore, you would likely be approved for benefits. If the other driver was at fault in the collision though, you could also have the basis for a third party personal injury lawsuit. If your lawsuit is successful, you could be awarded additional compensation, including compensation for the pain and suffering the accident caused you.
Queens Workers' Compensation Legal Advice and Guidance
Because workers' compensation benefits often fall short of completely compensating a victim for all of the costs associated with an accident it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced Queens workers' compensation attorney to determine if a third party lawsuit is an option. If you have been injured on the job in New York, SIMON & GILMAN, LLP right away to determine and assess your rights and claims.