How do I prove my employer is at fault for a workplace accident?
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, then you may be worried about how you are going to support yourself or your family, how you’re going to pay for medical bills, and how you will be able to prove your employer was at fault for the workplace accident which has upended your life.
Thankfully, the state of New York has long ago established a system known as workers’ compensation in order to eliminate many of these doubts. In order to better understand the workers’ compensation system, it may be helpful to consider how the system used to work. Before 1913, if you were injured on the job, then your only form of receiving compensation was to sue your employer. Due to your injury, you would have found yourself unable to work and facing costly medical bills to treat your injuries. In the meantime, you would need to take your employer to court to prove they were at fault, in a process which may take months or even years to come to a resolution, and all the while you may not be able to work, would have no income, and couldn’t afford to pay your medical bills. As you can imagine this would complicate the life of any injured worker.
The workers’ compensation system was ultimately established in 1913 in New York in order to protect both workers and employers in a no-fault system. For employees this meant no need to prove that their employer was at-fault for an on the job injury and could thus receive compensation that would cover their medical bills and lost income until they could get back to work.
For employers, this system meant an end to fighting lawsuits with employees who were injured on the job, since you are not able to sue your employer except in cases of extreme negligence which result in “grave injuries.”
Thus, the workers’ compensation system acts as a form of insurance for both you and your employer and treats injuries as a sometimes-unavoidable aspect of work relationships where there is no need to prove that your employer or a particular person was acting negligently and caused your injury.
As mentioned, in most cases you cannot sue your employer, however some workplace injuries may be the result of a third-party. In these instances, you may be able to sue the third party if they were the cause of the injury. These injuries may be caused by a contractor or the presence of another company or individual at the job or construction site.
Every workplace accident is different, and it can be confusing to know when you may be eligible for a third-party liability claim, can seek damages for a “grave injury,” or should just turn to the workers’ compensation system. And while most workers in New York will never have to prove that their employer was at fault for their injuries, there may be legal recourses beyond workers’ compensation if you’ve suffered an injury on the job, which is why you should speak to a construction injury attorney in NYC.
The personal injury attorneys at Greenberg & Stein have more than 75 years of combined experience representing injured workers and we have a reputation for taking on and winning even the most difficult of cases. We firmly believe that no one should lose money due to medical bills, missed paychecks, or lost future employment opportunities due to a work-related accident.
If you’ve been injured on the job, speak to one of our workplace accident attorneys here at Greenberg & Stein to discuss whether your case and whether it might qualify for additional compensation. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.