Third Party Liability for Work Accidents
Workplace accidents, like many other harmful incidents, typically occur due to reckless behavior. People who sustain injuries at work can often recover workers’ compensation benefits but are not permitted to pursue civil claims against their employers. They may be able to seek damages from other parties that may be responsible for their harm, though. If another party’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries while working, you should speak to an attorney regarding your rights as soon as possible. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C. is a skilled Rockland County workers’ compensation lawyer who is adept at establishing third-party liability for work accidents, and if you engage her services, she can assess the facts of your case and help you seek any compensation you may be owed. Ms. Crown regularly represents people in workers’ compensation cases in Rockland County and in Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties.Exclusivity of the New York Workers’ Compensation Act
Pursuant to New York’s Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), employees who suffer work-related harm can recover workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. Employees can recover such benefits regardless of whether their employers caused or contributed to their harm. Notably, however, even if an employer’s negligence led to a workplace injury, the exclusivity provision of the Act bars employees from pursuing civil claims against their employers. In other words, the Act provides that it is the exclusive remedy for injured employees with respect to their employers, regardless of whether the employer is at fault, with few exceptions.Third-Party Claims for Harm Suffered at Work
Workers’ compensation benefits often cover some, but not all, of an injured employee’s losses. As such, they may want to seek damages from other sources. Although the exclusivity provision bars employees from pursuing claims against their employers, it does not preclude them from seeking to impose third-party liability for work accidents. In other words, they can file personal injury claims against any other party at fault for their injuries. Such claims are common in the construction industry, where multiple parties work on a single job, and in cases involving dangerous machines or chemicals and defective products.
While employees do not have to demonstrate fault to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, they must establish liability to recover damages from third parties. In most instances an employee, pursuing claims against a third-party following a work accident, will allege the third party acted negligently. Under New York law establishing negligence requires a plaintiff to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. Generally, the duty owed is to comply with an established standard of care. The plaintiff then must prove the defendant deviated from the duty owed in some way. Finally, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant’s breach of the duty owed caused the plaintiff to suffer measurable harm. While the defendant’s behavior does not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s losses, it must be a significant factor in bringing them about.
A plaintiff, who successfully demonstrates a third party’s fault for a work accident, may be awarded compensation for financial harm incurred, including the cost of medical care, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. They may also be granted compensation for the intangible losses they sustained, like pain, suffering, mental trauma, and anguish.Meet With an Experienced Rockland County Attorney
Work accidents can cause significant trauma, and while employers are immune from civil liability for work-related harm, third parties are not. If you were hurt at work and have questions regarding third-party liability for work accidents, it is advisable to contact an attorney. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C. is an experienced Rockland County attorney who takes pride in helping injured employees seek justice for their losses, and if you hire her, she will work tirelessly on your behalf. Ms. Crown has an office in New York, and she frequently represents injured employees in workers’ compensation matters and third-party claims in Rockland County and in Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties. You can contact Ms. Crown via the form online or by calling 845.708.5900 or her cellphone (845.598.8253) to set up a conference.