In most circumstances, those injured in a construction accident in New York can take advantage of worker’s compensation benefits. But what if a coworker caused the accident?
Cases involving injury on the job are typically complex. Luckily, the laws that govern worker’s compensation benefits and your rights to them work in your favor, no matter who is determined to be at fault.
Worker’s Compensation in New York
In New York, the program that governs workers’ compensation is no fault. That means anyone injured while working has the right to these benefits, regardless of who is at fault. However, receiving workers’ compensation benefits requires you to give up your right to file a lawsuit except in circumstances where gross negligence was involved.
If your coworker caused your injuries because they were grossly negligent, then you can collect benefits from the workers’ compensation program. In the aftermath of your injury, you must take these actions:
- Let your employer immediately know you were injured by providing them with the time, location, and date of the injury, as well as who was involved and where you received treatment
- Have a complete medical assessment done by someone who approved by the workers’ compensation board who is a medical professional
- Write down everything that occurred during the accident as soon as you can afterward while your memory is still fresh
- Document your injuries through photos
- Within 30 days of the incident, make sure to file an accident report from your employer or the through the workers’ compensation board
- Discuss your case with an experienced attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation
Holding a Negligent Coworker Responsible in NY
For those injured through the negligence of a coworker, there are options. If you can demonstrate with the help of an attorney that your coworker was negligent, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is something you will absolutely want to consider, since it can help you to recover damages from the injury. What types of damages? A personal injury lawsuit can award you damages from things such as:
- Medical bills
- Replacement services such as lawn care of housekeeping
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Claims of loss of consortium from family
In order to win this type of lawsuit, you will need to demonstrate to the court that your coworker’s actions were negligent. They had to have failed to keep you safe in some way or done something wrong, and these actions are directly responsible for your injuries. If they had not been negligent in their actions, then your injuries would not have occurred.
New York Construction Worker Injuries: What About Your Employer?
In most cases, you will forfeit the right to sue your employer if you receive worker’s compensation. However, there are some circumstances under which you can get workers’ compensation and sue your employer.
Severe injuries such as serious burns or amputations typically allow you to sue your employer. If you can show they knew there was a danger in the workplace and failed to address it for your protection, this can help your case.