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When Worker’s Compensation is Not Enough

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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Worker’s Compensation exists to provide individuals who have been injured on the job with medical coverage and some amount of lost earnings while they are recovering from their injuries and cannot work. Unfortunately, quite often the amount granted through the employer’s insurance carrier is just not enough.

This happens frequently in New York, where dangerous jobs cause accidents and injuries every day. Such was the case with the recent wall collapse that occurred in upstate New York, in which two workers were seriously injured and one was killed.

While the injured workers may receive Worker’s Compensation, it may not be enough to enable them to continue to provide for themselves and their families during recovery. That’s why it’s especially important that you seek the advice and counsel of a serious injury lawyer in NYC. As construction accidents are fairly common, you can find construction accident attorneys that are well experienced with these types of claims.

At this juncture, it is important to explain the difference between Worker’s Compensation and a Third Party lawsuit for personal injuries.

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Worker’s Compensation in a nutshell means that if you have an on the job accident and you are injured, your employer, most often through an insurance company, is required to pay your reasonable and necessary medical expenses and a portion of your weekly earnings until you go back to work or a court finds that you are no longer disabled. Sometimes you will receive a modest cash award as well.

The trade-off is even when your employer or another co-employee is negligent in causing your accident, you cannot sue either one of them because such a lawsuit is barred by the Worker’s Compensation Law.

And this is where an experienced personal injury attorney comes in.

The bar to suing only extends to the employer and other employees of the injured person’s company. There is no bar to lawsuits against other workers on a job who work for another contractor or other people who for whatever reason or under different scenarios, cause or contribute to the accident which ultimately causes the worker to be injured.

Under those circumstances, a lawsuit can be commenced against those parties, regardless and often simultaneously with a Worker’s Compensation Claim.

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The third-party suit usually involves much more money because it addresses the extent of disability and enjoyment of life the injured worker will have to endure and how the disability impacts the worker and his family. These are called non-economic damages referred in court as ‘Pain and Suffering”. Juries are the ones to make that award if the case goes to trial.

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An experienced personal injury attorney will carefully examine the facts of your case and the details of the accident that caused your injuries. The lawyer will see what other options might be available to you in order to provide you with a much larger settlement. Retaining the services of personal injury lawyers in NYC and settling your case in court is the best option, if available, especially if your injuries are severe and result in a disability or require extended treatment.

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