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The NYC workers’ compensation laws are founded on the facts that:
Of course, in practice, the NYC legal system is rarely so simple. One exception exists to this rule that can allow you to sue your employer in certain situations: if your employer intentionally caused your injury. Despite this, third-party, non-employers who contributed to the cause of your work injury are subject to lawsuits via the third-party claims (personal injury) system.
At Proner & Proner, our top-rated workers’ compensation lawyers have over 50 years’ combined experience handling complex work accident cases. We are dedicated to helping injured workers get the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled—whether through workers’ compensation or the personal injury process.
If you have been hurt while on the job, call or contact our top-rated workers’ compensation lawyers for a free consultation today. We can help you learn more about your right to sue an employer or a third party for injuries sustained at work.
Personal injury lawsuits generally require that the injured party prove someone else’s negligence caused the injury. The workers’ compensation system began for the simple reason that while employees are often injured at work, it is very difficult to prove that the employer’s negligence caused the injury. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect employers and employees alike by providing employees with compensation regardless of fault.
However, the situation changes when you can prove that your employer committed an “intentional tort”. Intentional tort is the term used for a type of action that could usually be prosecuted as a crime, but instead is handled by suing for monetary damages in civil court.
You may be able to sue your employer instead of accepting workers’ compensation benefits if your employer hurt you (emotionally or physically) by committing:
These types of cases are few and far between. In most cases where workers file a lawsuit to gain compensation for work injuries, that lawsuit is filed against a third party.
While you are not entitled to sue your employer in lieu of accepting workers’ compensation benefits in NYC, you do have the right to appeal a claim that was wrongfully denied. Our lawyers can help you file an appeal if your claim was denied because of:
The appeals process functions much like the court system, although we will first proceed to appeal your claim with the workers’ compensation board itself. If the board continues to deny your claim, a workers’ compensation judge can hear the case and render a decision, considering:
We can also appeal the workers’ compensation judge’s decision, in which case a panel of workers’ compensation board members (or the full board) will hear your case. Finally, we have the option of appealing to the formal New York courts for review.
Unlike employers and co-workers, third parties involved in your work are not shielded from lawsuits based on negligence. To sue a third-party, you do not have to give up your right to workers’ compensation benefits. Our lawyers can investigate your accident and injuries to determine whether a third-party’s negligence contributed to, or caused your accident. In these types of cases, you can sue a negligent:
In a third-party lawsuit, you can recover compensation that may not be available via the workers’ compensation system in NYC. For example, in addition to medical expenses and the full amount of your lost wages, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
Although workers’ compensation is designed to be the exclusive, no-fault remedy for work accidents in NYC, benefits do not cover everything. Our lawyers can evaluate whether you have the right to pursue a claim for additional compensation by suing a negligent third-party.
Although most injured workers cannot sue their employer instead of accepting workers’ compensation benefits, you are not without options. Our experienced labor lawyers will evaluate all aspects of your accident and injuries to determine whether you have the right to sue a third party. We can also help with the workers’ compensation appeals process.
To schedule your free case review with our skilled NYC workers’ compensation lawyers, call our office or fill out this online contact form today.
Yes, you can pursue a third-party claim while collecting workers’ compensation benefits. However, any compensation award that you receive based on your work accident may be reduced to reimburse workers’ compensation. In other words, you cannot “double-dip”—if workers’ compensation has paid 2/3 of your lost wages for the past three months, and you recover the full amount of your past lost wages via the lawsuit, you may be required to pay back the workers’ compensation benefits you have already received.
Possibly. If your employer neglected to maintain workers’ compensation insurance in accordance with NYC laws, you may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation in the courts.
Workers' Compensation Verdicts & Settlements
Male, 35: Workers' compensation
Our client was changing a pump strainer on a hot air furnace when he stepped on a board and fell through the ceiling.
Injuries: Herniated disc which required surgery
Male, 27: Workers' compensation
Our client was performing routine maintenance on an air conditioner. He had to use a wooden ladder, which slid on a slippery floor, making him fall.
Injuries: Three fractures in his ankle requiring surgery
Female, 49: Workers' compensation
Our client fell off a two-story-high ladder at her workplace.
Injuries: Multiple fractures of both arms requiring surgery
Male, 59: Workers' compensation
Our client fell into an elevator shaft at his workplace.
Injuries: Five broken ribs, punctured right lung, liver laceration, soft tissue ankle and hip injuries
Road Rage Incident
Mitchell Proner spoke in support of NYC motorcycle riders and called on NY lawmakers and police not to overreact to a highly publicized road rage incident or to let that incident cast all motorcyclists in a bad light.
Hit and Run
Attorney Mitchell Proner was on hand when the motorist accused of hitting a female jogger on a road in Central Islip appeared in a New York courtroom to answer charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Attorney Mitchell Proner, an expert on maritime law, spoke about the similarities between the Costa Concordia ferry disaster and the recent Indonesian ferry accident that killed at least 24 people.