I was injured at work. Can I sue my employer?
This is a question I’ve been asked many times over the years. While there are some exceptions, the general rule is that in New York, if you get injured at work, you can get only workers’ compensation benefits, you can’t sue for pain or suffering. These benefits compensate you for some of your salary, and pay most of your medical bills. They also may be available to an injured worker, even if the accident was partially the worker’s fault. At Haicken Law PLLC, I can help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits and help you get your lost wages and medical bills paid.
An injury that occurs at work can also sometimes lead to a lawsuit in addition to the workers compensation benefits. Here is an example. Assume you work for Acme Co. in a building and you slip and fall on the floor in the lobby. While you are lying on the ground, in pain from your injury, you look up and see that a janitor has been cleaning the area, but failed to put up a sign. You may seek workers’ compensation benefits from your employer, and also file a lawsuit against the cleaning company that negligently failed to warn of the slippery floor. The two cases are separate.
Work injuries occur frequently, especially at construction sites. Generally, workers at construction sites are employees of subcontractors, such as electrical or plumbing subcontractors. If a worker gets injured at a construction site, he can obtain workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer, but may also be able to sue the building owner and general contractor. In New York, construction workers are afforded special protections under the New York Labor Law. Whether one’s work is considered to be under the ambit of the Labor Law is often up for debate. Only an experienced attorney can guide you through the labyrinthine laws regarding work place accidents. If you’ve been injured at work, whether it’s a construction site injury or not, call me for a free consultation today.