According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 149,000 non-fatal injuries and illnesses in New York workplaces in 2014. Many of them occurred in the construction industry, where falling objects, scaffold collapses, and falls from heights are often reported, but an employee can experience a traumatic workplace injury in several different occupations.
If you have been injured at your place of employment, then chances are that you will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If, however, you are hurt due to negligence on the part of property owners, equipment manufacturers, and similar parties, then you may also be able to file a third-party liability claim.
In either instance, you are required to prove that you were injured due to the reckless or negligent actions of someone else. A successful claim could result in compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
What qualifies as a workplace injury?
Workplace injuries are those received while you were carrying out a task for the benefit of your employer. Some situations are complicated and can benefit from expert legal advice:
- An employee is not normally covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured on their lunch break, but they may be eligible if they were hurt in the company cafeteria.
- Injuries that occur during the commute to or from the office are not eligible for workers’ comp unless the employee was driving a company vehicle.
- If an employee is hurt due to their own deliberate misconduct, then they may be entitled to workers’ comp but they cannot sue their employee for the injury.
What to do if you are injured at work
If you are hurt on the job, then seek medical treatment immediately. Never skip this step, as you may be more injured than you realize and the examining physician’s report will support a later injury claim. Notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the incident, including statements from any witnesses. To ensure that you get workers’ compensation, file a Form C-3, which is an employee claim form, and obtain copies of all medical reports.
If a contractor, manufacturer, or other third party was responsible for causing your workplace injury, then you may be able to seek damages via a third party civil lawsuit. Examples include:
- A civil suit against an employer who does not have workers’ compensation insurance,
- A product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective product
- A toxic exposure action against the manufacturer of a toxic substance
In this instance, contact a personal injury attorney immediately, so that you can make a claim for medical bills, lost income, and even non-economic losses like pain and suffering. Whatever the cause of your injury, if you have been hurt at work a New York personal injury attorney can help you get the financial compensation you are entitled to.