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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

A Guide: How to File a Lawsuit for Workers' Compensation in New York

A work-related injury or occupational disease can disrupt a person's life in many ways. The healing process can be tedious and painful, especially when financial worries are added to the equation.

In New York State, the workers' compensation program offers support to injured employees during this overwhelming and challenging time. Victims can receive benefits for their medical bills and lost wages, but they must take a few steps first.

Workers' compensation insurance is mandatory in this state. New York employers are legally required to provide this coverage to all employees. However, some people who are injured or become ill while on the job end up filing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for their damages. Below is more information about both processes.

Workers' Compensation Benefits in New York

Workers' Compensation Benefits in New York

In New York, workers' compensation provides wage replacement benefits and medical care to people who sustain workplace injuries or become ill. State laws require all for-profit employers and some not-for-profit organizations to carry this insurance.

Through a workers' compensation claim, an injured employee can pursue compensation for the following:

  • Costs related to their medical treatment

  • Cash benefits equivalent to up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage

  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments

How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim in New York

The first step employees should take after sustaining an on-the-job injury or discovering that they've become ill while on duty is to seek medical treatment immediately.

Once checked by a medical professional, workers must notify their supervisors about their work-related injuries and how they occurred. It's important to deliver a written notice as soon as possible.

After that, injured workers must file a C-3 employee claim form with the Workers' Compensation Board. This process can be completed online, over a call, or in person.

Filing a Lawsuit Over a Workers' Compensation Claim

Injured employees waive their right to sue their employers by receiving workers' compensation. This means that a person may not be able to file a lawsuit against the company or individual they work for or a co-worker if they've been granted such benefits, even if these parties are at fault for their damages.

However, some workers' compensation cases can lead to a personal injury lawsuit or a third-party claim under certain circumstances, such as when there's intent or a third party is potentially responsible for employees' injuries or illness. For more information, a personal injury attorney on Long Island may be able to help.

Personal Injury or Third-Party Lawsuits for Workplace Injuries

Under New York law, injured employees can file personal injury lawsuits if a third party is liable for their damages, even if their wounds or illnesses are work-related.

These are some cases where this option might be available:

  • Workers' injuries are caused by defective or dangerous equipment or vehicles. Suppliers, sellers, and manufacturers can be held responsible.

  • Employees are involved in an accident caused by a negligent driver or a poorly maintained motor vehicle.

  • Work premises owners or contractors create dangerous conditions or fail to secure safety at the job site, indirectly injuring employees.

New York workers may also consider personal injury lawsuits if the employer or a similar party caused the injury intentionally or isn't properly insured.

If pursuing a lawsuit, injured employees can still obtain workers' compensation benefits. However, this is only possible under certain circumstances.

In these cases, an employer or workers' compensation insurer may have a lien on the settlement or award, which means they could recover certain costs in a third-party lawsuit.

Steps to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Work-Related Case in New York

Steps to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Work-Related Case in New York

Whether their injuries were caused by a third party's actions or their employee intended to injure them, these are the steps that affected employees must take to file a lawsuit:

1. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Workers' compensation cases and third-party lawsuits are intricate. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer can guide employees through both processes.

Seasoned attorneys can assess injured workers' situations to determine the best course of action and provide the legal counsel they need to make informed decisions. They can also assist with how to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in New York.

2. Understand Laws Governing Third-Party Claims

Like other states, New York has laws governing how claims and lawsuits for work-related injuries should be handled. Typically, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy. Employees can get medical and financial benefits from their employer's insurance company for health care costs and lost wages.

However, personal injury lawsuits can offer a more favorable outcome for injured workers when available. Employees who have been harmed or become ill at work should discuss their cases with experts to understand their legal options and assess viability. They can also provide insight on how to file a lawsuit for premises liability in New York.

3. File the Lawsuit

If a personal injury lawsuit is the best option for their cases, New York workers should take the following steps:

  • Investigate the claim, collecting as much evidence as possible, including witness testimonies, medical records, proof of lost wages, and expert opinions

  • Evaluate evidence to identify liable parties

  • File a complaint with the respective court

  • Go through the discovery phase, which involves exchanging evidence with the other party

  • Negotiate a possible settlement to resolve the case without litigation

  • Present the case to the jury if it should be resolved in court

Final Thoughts: Taking Legal Action for a Workplace Injury or Illness

On-the-job accidents are common. Many workers sustain injuries or become ill while on duty. However, New York employers must ensure workplaces are hazard-free to protect employees' well-being and integrity.

Although employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, this coverage isn't sufficient in many cases. Sometimes, injured employees can even sue a third party for their negligence or take legal action against the person or entity they work for if there was intent to harm them.

In both scenarios, affected employees can benefit from using legal services. A personal injury lawyer with experience in workers' compensation can help them understand their rights, secure fair remuneration, and prepare solid cases if they have to file a lawsuit.

At The Law Office of Carl Maltese, we have a seasoned team equipped with knowledgeable attorneys who will go the extra mile to help injured employees get the compensation they're entitled to and find a suitable solution for their cases.

Our professionals strive to build a strong attorney-client relationship with each injured worker who needs our assistance. Contact us today and request a free consultation!


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