Many New Yorkers are injured at their job every year, and for the majority of them, they can obtain compensation from their employer through their workers’ compensation insurance program. However, there are situations where a worker can file a lawsuit on the basis of their workplace injury. In these limited circumstances, a worker can obtain a second source of compensation to help them recover from their accident and get back to work.
Third party injury claims
For most workers, the one responsible for compensating them after they are injured at their job is their employer, and under workers’ compensation law workers cannot sue their employer. Instead, they are entitled to compensation under the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are times when someone else besides the employer shares responsibility for the worker’s injury.
When a third party was at least partially responsible for the injury that you suffered at work, you are allowed to file a lawsuit against them as a third-party claim, separate from your workers’ compensation claim. This can apply in a wide range of situations or accidents that can happen at work, such as:
- Driving a commercial vehicle and you are hit by another driver
- Working at your job and a customer creates a dangerous condition that causes your accident
- You were injured directly by a customer during the course of your duties, such as bartending or security
These are just a few examples of the types of cases where you would still be permitted to file a lawsuit despite also being covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Is a third party injury claim different from a normal lawsuit?
The answer is no, a third party injury claim is no different than a regular personal injury lawsuit. You will still need an attorney who can litigate the case for you, the only true difference is that your employer will not be a party that faces potential liability in that lawsuit. They may still have a role as an interested party against the individual who harmed you, but you will not be attempting to get money from them as a part of that lawsuit.