PERSONAL INJURY VS. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION


PERSONAL INJURY AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – HOW THEY ARE DIFFERENT

A construction accident can change your life forever. A personal injury claim can help you receive full compensation for your losses. A workers’ compensation claim won’t fully compensate you for your potential losses.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IS NOT YOUR ONLY OPTION

Many people believe that workers’ compensation is their only option after a work-related injury. It is not. In New York, if you get hurt on the job, you may have the legal right to bring a personal injury case pursuant to New York State Labor Law §§ 240(1), 241(6), and/or 200.

YOU CAN FILE FOR BOTH WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND PERSONAL INJURY

You can file a personal injury case even if you filed workers’ compensation. The law in New York is crystal clear – you can have both a workers’ compensation case AND a personal injury action at the same time.

THE DAMAGES AVAILABLE IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE ARE VERY DIFFERENT FROM WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Personal Injury damages

In a personal injury case, you can make claims for the following types of damages that apply to you:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Medical expenses for future care
  • Loss of pension benefits
  • Loss of employer annuity funding
  • Loss of social security benefits

Also, in a personal injury claim you can make claims for damages that will continue in the future. These are called “future damages” and can apply to all the damages listed above and others.

Workers’ Compensation damages

In a workers’ compensation claim, you can get your medical expenses covered and a portion of your lost wages. Workers’ compensation benefits will likely not last forever. The insurance company handling the workers’ compensation case will fight very hard to terminate your benefits and/or try to settle the claim to avoid paying you into the future.

If your injuries are permanent and will prevent you from returning to work and/or will require long term medical care, workers’ compensation will not fully cover your financial obligations. 

Comparison of damages

Damages Available Personal Injury Workers'Compensation
Medical Expenses Yes Temporary
Future Medical Expenses Yes No
Lost Wages Yes Temporary and partial
Future Lost Wages Yes No
Pain and Suffering Yes No
Loss of Enjoyment of Life Yes No
Loss of Pension Benefits Yes No
Loss of Health Insurance Yes No
Loss of Social Security Yes No
Loss of Enjoyment of Life Yes No
 

IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE, YOU ARE NOT SUING YOUR EMPLOYER

A personal injury lawsuit will be against someone other than your employer who was legally responsible for your injury. Construction workers hurt on the job may have a personal injury claim against:

  • Building owners
  • Property managers
  • Maintenance companies
  • General Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Product manufacturers

Here are some examples of incidents that can give rise to a personal injury claim against someone who is not your employer: 

Example #1 – Fall From A Height

If you are injured after falling from a height on a construction site, you may be able to bring a personal injury case against the owner and/or the general contractor if they violated the New York State Labor Law sections §§ 240(1), 241(6), and/or 200. This includes falls from a scaffold, ladder, platform, or elevated surface. 

Example #2 – Falling Object

If an object falls on you from above, or falls on you while you are carrying or lifting it, and you are injured as a result, you may be able to bring a personal injury case against the owner and/or the general contractor if they violated the New York State Labor Law §§ 240(1), 241(6), and/or 200

Example #3 – Electrocution

If you are electrocuted, you may be able to bring a personal injury action case against the owner and/or the general contractor if they violated § 23-1.12 of the New York Industrial Code and/or New York State Labor Law section § 200

Example #4 – Trip And Fall

If you trip and fall due to dirt, debris, and any other obstructions or conditions which could cause tripping, and you are injured as a result, you may be able to bring a personal injury case against the owner and/or the general contractor if they violated § 23-1.7(e) of the New York Industrial Code and/or New York State Labor Law section § 200

Example #5 – Slip And Fall

If you trip and fall due to a slipping hazard and you are injured as a result, you may be able to bring a personal injury case against the owner and/or the general contractor if they violated § 23-1.7(d) of the New York Industrial Code and/or New York State Labor Law § 200

Example #6 – Insufficient Lighting

If you are injured as a result of insufficient illumination, you may be able to bring a personal injury case against the owner and/or the general contractor if they violated § 23-1.30 of the New York Industrial Code and/or New York State Labor Law § 200

Example #7 – Elevator Accident

Most property owners hire elevator maintenance companies to maintain the elevators on their properties. If you are injured in an elevator accident, you may be able to bring a claim against the elevator maintenance company for their negligence.

Example #8 – Defective Product

If you are injured by a defective product while at work, you may be able to bring a claim against the manufacturer of the product if they were negligent.

CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER

In many cases, it will be hard for you to know if you can bring a personal injury case after a construction accident. You may not know whether anyone other than your employer was legally responsible for your injuries. That is why it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer  so that you can be informed of your legal rights.

CONTACT US

Our personal injury lawyers have the expertise to evaluate your case and advise you of your legal rights.  If you have been injured as a result of a construction accident, you should focus on your recovery and let experienced lawyers focus on your case. 

Please contact us for a no cost, no obligation consultation.  Let us advise you of your legal rights.

About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP focuses on complex civil litigation, including securities, antitrust, wage and hour, personal injury and consumer class actions as well as shareholder derivative and merger and transactional litigation. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous high-profile cases which ultimately provided significant recoveries to investors, direct purchasers, consumers and employees.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights, call our offices today at (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330.

About Reza Rezvani

Reza Rezvani is a Partner in the firm's New York office in personal injury law litigation. He has over 18 years of experience litigating construction accidents and labor law, premises liability, serious motor vehicle accidents, and civil rights cases. He has successfully handled hundreds of cases and conducted over 50 jury trials, earning a reputation as a highly skilled trial attorney.

Tags: Workers' Compensation, Reza Rezvani, lawsuit, Faruqi & Faruqi, New York personal injury vs. workers comp, New York Personal Injury Lawyer Reza Rezvani Reza Rezvani
Partner at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

New York office
Tel: (212) 983-9330
Fax: (212) 983-9331
E-mail: rrezvani@faruqilaw.com
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