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Can I Sue My Employer if I Get Injured at the Worksite?

February 24, 2023

If you are injured on the job, it can leave you facing serious damages and at a loss for where to turn for help. While you generally can’t sue your employer for the losses you experience, you can seek compensation that will help you move forward toward regaining your health and well-being with a workers’ compensation claim. If this is the difficult position you find yourself in, don’t delay consulting with an experienced Queens workers’ compensation attorney.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. This coverage is designed to balance the rights of, and the protections afforded to employers and their employees, but in the transaction, employees give up the right to sue their employers for negligence-related losses.

If you are injured on the job, you can file a worker’s compensation claim for the losses you experience as a result of the injury-causing accident, including:

  • Your necessary accident-related medical care
  • Your lost wages at a specific percentage of your income prior to the accident
  • Partial or permanent disability benefits
  • Vocational training

As such, you are covered for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job regardless of where the fault lies, and your employer is protected from personal injury lawsuits that are not only costly but can also interfere with business operations.

Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule

A workers’ compensation claim is what is known as an exclusive remedy for employees who are injured on the job. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, and they include the following:

  • Your employer failed to carry the necessary workers’ compensation coverage for you.
  • Your employer intentionally caused you to be injured on the job.
  • You work for an employer that is not required to carry workers’ comp coverage, including the Fire Department of New York, the City of New York Department of Sanitation, and the New York Police Department.

Third-Party Negligence

If the negligence of a third party is responsible for the accident that leaves you injured on the job, you can seek compensation for your complete losses – including your physical and emotional pain and suffering – by filing a lawsuit against them. Common examples include negligence on the part of a subcontractor or the building owner in a construction accident. There is also a scaffold law in New York that places absolute liability on owners and general contractors who fail to comply with the protections the law provides for workers who perform gravity-related work, such as on scaffolding. 

An Experienced Queens Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help

While you generally don’t have the right to sue your employer for a negligence-related injury, the savvy workers’ compensation attorneys at Shapey, Manus & Moverman – proudly serving Queens for many years – are well positioned to file a strong workers’ compensation claim in focused pursuit of just compensation that affords you the opportunity to fully heal. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.

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