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I Received Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Can I Still Sue?

After suffering an injury at the workplace, most workers will seek compensation for their injuries. In the state of New York, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their full-time and part-time employees. In the event that an employee gets injured while working, they can file a workers’ compensation claim to be able to collect compensation for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages.

The workers’ compensation system in New York does not allow injured workers to file a lawsuit against their employer, unless their employer intentionally hurt them. Nonetheless, the system allows the injured employee to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party. If you believe that your employer hurt you intentionally or that there is a third party that can be sued, seeking counsel from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is crucial. 

What Is Not Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Most workers who are injured on the job can receive compensation through their workers’ compensation benefits. However, in some cases, the employee will not be covered by their workers’ compensation benefits. These are some reasons why a workers’ compensation claim may be denied: 

Driving to/from work:

Employees who are injured on their way to work or returning home after work are unable to seek compensation for their injuries. Commuting to or from work is not considered part of their job. 


Injuries sustained by a worker while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (if the intoxication is the sole cause of the injury) are generally not covered by workers’ compensation benefits.


If an employee is injured as a result of being directly involved in horseplay, they will almost certainly be unable to seek compensation. Horseplay is not permitted in the workplace. This does not, however, apply to employees who are injured as a result of another employee’s horseplay, without being directly involved in it. 

Intentional acts:

Any injury or illness that was caused intentionally by the worker will not be covered by the workers’ compensation benefits. 

Illegal activities:

Employees who get injured after being involved in some kind of illegal activity are not able to collect compensation. 

Policy violations:

All employees must follow the rules and policies of the company for which they work. If they are injured as a result of breaking the company’s rules, protocols, or safety policies, their workers’ compensation claim will most likely be denied.

Terminated employees:

When a worker is fired or laid off, they no longer qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if the injury or illness occurred while the worker was still employed by the company, they may seek compensation.

Can I Get Fired If I File A Lawsuit Against My Employer?

Received Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Can You Still Pursue Legal Action?
I Received Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Can I Still Sue? I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Many people believe that if they sue their employer, they will be fired. Nonetheless, this is a largely unfounded fear. Even if you sue your employer, the law prevents them from firing you. Your employer will be breaking the law if they attempt to retaliate in any way. It is possible that your employer will treat you differently after you return to work, but this does not necessarily mean that they will fire you or make your working conditions worse.

However, if your employer attempts to fire you under the false pretense of poor performance or any other reason, you should immediately contact a lawyer. If you can demonstrate that their reason for firing you was illegitimate and that they were only acting in retaliation, you have the right to take legal action.

Difference Between Workers’ Compensation And Personal Injury Lawsuit

Workers’ compensation claims are not the same as personal injury lawsuits. Understanding the distinction is critical if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. The amount paid for lost wages will vary depending on the injured employee’s level of disability. In New York, the workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. This means that the injured worker can seek compensation regardless of who was at fault. Even if a worker is partially to blame for the injury, he or she is still entitled to be compensated. 

To win a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent or careless, and that their actions caused the accident. This means that if you want to be compensated you will need to work with your attorney to build a solid case with the evidence necessary to support your claim. Lawsuits can also take a long time to settle. The severity of the worker’s injuries and the amount of money at stake are two important factors in determining the duration of the lawsuit.

The main benefit of personal injury lawsuits, is that you can recover damages that are not recoverable through workers’ compensation benefits. By bringing a personal injury lawsuit you can recover economic damages such as medical expenses, property damage, reimbursement for ALL lost wages and other-out-of pocket expenses. Additionally, you can seek compensation for other noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. In some cases, pain and suffering can represent a big portion of the settlement amount. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Received: Exploring Your Options for Legal Recourse
Get The Help You Need With Us I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

How To Appeal A Workers’ Comp Verdict In New York?

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, or if a benefit (such as a doctor’s visit or medical treatment) that you should have received is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. After your benefits have been denied, you have 30 days to request a hearing with the “Board Panel.” The panel is made up of three judges who will assess your case and make the final decision. This means that any decision made by the panel cannot be appealed again.

Keep in mind that the panel will not accept new evidence at this final hearing. Only the evidence presented at the hearing held when you first filed your claim may be used. If you intend to appeal a workers’ compensation verdict, you should first consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to increase your chances of success.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers At Greenberg & Stein

If you have recently suffered an injury while working, seeking legal counsel from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is very important. A lawyer will be able to review your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

At Greenberg and Stein, we understand how difficult things can get after a workplace injury. Our lawyers have handled a large number of workers’ compensation cases and are well-versed in the New York workers’ compensation system. Our team will work above and beyond to ensure that your rights are protected. Call us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.