Workers’ compensation insurance, often simply referred to as “workers’ comp,” is mandatory for all employers in New York State. This requirement is meant to ensure every employee can receive compensation for injuries they sustain while working. But can you still sue your employer for an injury you suffer on the job if you are covered by workers’ comp?
What is Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance that all employers must carry for every employee. This insurance gives a payout to any employee that is injured on the job, guaranteeing compensation for the harm they suffer, along with additional pay for basic living expenses. This, in theory, helps avoid the litigation that is normally involved in personal injury cases, saving substantial time and expense and avoiding the possibility that an employer might not be able to cover an injured worker’s settlement or judgment.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Workers’ Comp?
On the one hand, an employee who is covered by workers’ compensation does not need to worry about suing their employer, and only needs to go through the process of applying for worker’s comp. On the other hand, an employee who is covered by workers’ comp loses their right to sue their employer. This can lead to an employee being forced to accept far less in pay than they might have gotten if they were able to sue their employer.
How Can I Sue an Employer if I Am Covered By Workers’ Comp?
Provided an employer is up to date on their workers’ comp payments, you may simply not be allowed to sue for an on-the-job injury. However, there are three major exceptions to this rule: first, an employer that does not have workers’ comp, or who has not kept up to date on their insurance payments, will not be protected from lawsuits from injured employees. Second, some employers are underinsured, meaning their workers’ compensation policies are inadequate to cover their employees’ injuries. Finally, anyone classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee would not be covered by workers’ comp, and thus would be free to sue their employer.
What Should I Do?
If you have been injured in the workplace and are unsure if you can sue, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer who can assess your case. They can help you understand your rights and create a litigation plan that fits your needs. The sooner you call, the sooner they can get to work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the workplace injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.