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Can I Sue for a Workplace Accident in New York?

As top personal injury attorneys in New York, we understand that recovering after a serious accident is difficult—especially without help. If you’ve suffered injuries caused by someone else, you deserve the resources you need to recover. Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more. 

Let’s be honest: Given the choice, most of us would rather not go to work. We do, however, not because it’s especially fun, but because employment is a necessary part of adult life. 

The very least that workers deserve, then, is a safe, hazard-free environment. Unfortunately, that’s not always what they get. Companies don’t always enforce the necessary safety precautions, and negligent third parties can also put workers in harm’s way. Fortunately, workers who suffer on-the-job injuries typically have at least one viable path to compensation. 

In New York State, the vast majority of employers are required to carry workers’ compensation, regardless of how many people they employ. This type of insurance is designed to cover certain types of injury-related losses, including medical treatment and temporary disability. While workers’ comp offers many benefits, it also falls short in a number of ways. 

Perhaps the most notable shortcoming of workers comp is that it doesn’t always cover all of a worker’s injury-related damages, and in some cases, it doesn’t even come close. In these situations, workers may be able to secure compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. 

If you’re wondering if you can sue for a workplace injury, the short answer is yes. However, there are a number of factors to consider before pursuing a claim, which is why it’s essential to work with an experienced work injury lawyer. This article will explain everything you need to know about suing for a workplace injury, including eligibility, alternative options and more. 

At Jacoby & Jacoby, we specialize in protecting the rights of injury victims and pursuing the compensation they deserve to recover. If you have questions about work injury lawsuits, we can help you find answers. Call our law office at (888) 452-2629 to get started. 

Understanding Workers’ Compensation in New York

Before exploring your eligibility to file a work injury lawsuit, it’s critical to understand the basics of workers’ compensation in New York. As a no-fault system designed to provide prompt benefits to injured employees, workers’ comp doesn’t require any proof of liability. 

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that workers’ comp is often considered the only recourse for an injured worker. That’s because in most cases, workers can’t sue their employers for negligence or fault. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. 

Suing for a Workplace Accident

Typically, on-the-job accidents don’t warrant a lawsuit as workers can recoup many of their losses through workers’ compensation. However, workers’ comp isn’t the most appropriate course of action in all scenarios, particularly those that involve serious injuries caused by another party’s negligence. 

If you’re wondering about your eligibility to pursue a work injury lawsuit, the best way to find out is by speaking with an experienced attorney. As a rule of thumb, however, injury victims can generally pursue legal action when at least one of three crucial elements are involved: third-party liability, intentional harm caused by an employer or gross negligence. 

Work Injuries Caused by Third-Party Liability

If you suffered an on-the-job injury caused by a third party, you may be able to sue for compensation. A third party can be any person or entity (other than a worker’s co-worker or employer) who bears full or partial responsibility for their injuries. 

Third-party liability in the workplace can extend to manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, property owners or managers, drivers, independent contractors, vendors and more. Even if third-party liability is clear to the injured party, it isn’t always easy to determine. It often requires a thorough investigation of the accident, which is one of the many services provided by an experienced work injury attorney.

Work Injuries Caused Intentionally by an Employer

In rare cases, work injuries are caused intentionally by an employer. In these situations, the injured worker is entitled to sue for damages, but in order to secure compensation, they will need to prove that their employer acted purposefully. Proving intentional harm on the part of an employer can be challenging but is possible with strong evidence and legal expertise. 

Work Injuries Involving Gross Negligence

An injured worker may also sue their employer if they can prove gross negligence. Gross negligence goes beyond ordinary recklessness; it involves purposeful misconduct or actions that clearly disregard the safety of others. 

In order to prove gross negligence, you’ll need to demonstrate that your employer knew about potential hazards and consciously disregarded them, failed to take the necessary precautions or intentionally violated safety regulations. Proving gross negligence typically requires a higher burden of proof than typical negligence claims but is well within the purview of an experienced work injury attorney. 

Jacoby & Jacoby: Top Work Injury Lawyers in New York

In terms of securing compensation, the workers’ comp process is generally easier than filing a work injury lawsuit. With this in mind, you may be wondering why you would choose to file a lawsuit instead. The answer is simple: A work injury lawsuit affords you the chance to obtain potentially higher compensation, hold third parties accountable and take more control over the legal process. 

In simplest terms, a work injury lawsuit offers you the chance to recoup the full scope of damages you are owed. And the team at Jacoby & Jacoby is here to make sure you don’t have to navigate this complex process alone. 

Ready to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries? The best way to move forward is by consulting with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in work injury lawsuits. Schedule a free case evaluation online or give us a call at (888) 452-2629 to speak with a compassionate work injury lawyer from Jacoby & Jacoby today.

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