Injured “On the Job” by Other Than a Co-Worker
What happens if an employee gets injured on the job and someone other than that employee’s employer or co-worker is at fault? This may happen, for example, if an employee is on his or her way to a meeting and gets into an auto accident. It may happen if a worker is on a construction site and is injured because of the careless act of someone working for another subcontractor.
In such an event the employee actually gets two shots at the apple ! First, he or she is entitled to any and all workers’ compensation benefits that are available. But even beyond that, the employee may also bring a regular lawsuit against the party that caused and was legally responsible for the accident. So while the employee will get their workers’ compensation, the employee may successfully obtain a settlement or judgment based on the pain and suffering experienced by the worker as a result of the accident. Much more often than not, the award resulting from litigation (suing) is greater (and many times much greater) than the compensation received through workers’ compensation. It is really a “no lose” proposition for the employee.
NOTE, however that in the event workers compensation has given the employee an award and paid medical expenses and the employee then successfully recovers money in a lawsuit, the Workers’ Compensation Board will expect to be paid back much, if not all, of the amount it paid to the worker out of that amount recovered in the lawsuit. The worker will be left with the leftover amount from the lawsuit. However, he will already have received the workers’ compensation award and have had his medical expenses paid. So he has those amounts, and now he also has the “extra” amount received as a result of his lawsuit. Again, this presents a “no lose” situation for the worker.
As you might expect, this can be an area that is both difficult at times to understand and to navigate. It is absolutely imperative that an injured worker contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to see that his or her best interests are protected.
CAUTION: Even if you think no “third party” is involved and that you are only dealing with fellow workers and an employer. This may not be the case. Examples may be maintenance workers that are employed through an outside company, or business trucks that are rented and therefore may make rental companies liable! Always speak to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney if you are injured “on the job”!
Downstate New York District Workers Compensation Offices
Brooklyn District (NYC)
Counties serviced: Kings, Richmond
Edward M. Joyce, JR. – District Administrator
Tom Agostino-District Manager
111 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Counties Serviced: Suffolk
Karen Dawidziak-District Administrator
Robert F. Williams-District Manager
Hempstead District (Long Island)
Counties Serviced: Nassau
Alan Landman: District Administrator
Alan Gotlinsky-District Manager
175 Fulton Avenue
Hempstead, NY 11550
Counties Serviced: Bronx, New York
Frank Vernuccio-District Administrator
Joann Shelton-District Manager
215 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
Counties Serviced: Queens
Wayne D. Allen-District Administrator
Carl Gabbidon-District Manager
168-46 91st Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11432