Third-Party Liability vs. Workers' Compensation in New York | Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C.

You typically file a workers’ compensation claim when you are injured on the job. However, you may have another option. You may be able to file a third-party claim if someone other than your employer or a coworker caused your injuries. If your employer didn’t have workers’ comp insurance, you might also have other options.

To learn more about a third-party claim and your options after being hurt at work, contact the personal injury lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. Call us at 212-490-5700 or use our online form to contact us.

What Is Workers’ Compensation and Who Is Eligible?

Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault insurance that will cover some of your losses after a work-related injury. It doesn’t matter who causes your injuries; your employer’s workers’ comp insurance will cover the damages to a certain extent. However, your injuries must be work-related.

You are eligible for workers’ comp insurance if covered under your employer’s plan. That means that your employer must have paid for the insurance, and the policy must not have lapsed. New York requires most employers to have workers’ comp insurance, so if your employer did not, they might be personally liable for your damages.

Additionally, you are eligible for worker’s compensation if:

• You were working for a for-profit business
• Your business was not-for-profit but still had workers’ comp insurance
• You were working in New York

Do You Have a Third-Party Claim?

If someone other than your employer or a coworker caused your injuries, you may be able to file a third-party claim. You might wonder why you would file a third-party claim if workers’ comp covers your injury. Most importantly, a third-party claim can get you full compensation, whereas a workers’ comp claim will only cover part of your damages.

Common parties who are liable in third-party claims include:

The city or government
A subcontractor
A general contractor
• Equipment manufacturer
• Driver of a motor vehicle
• Owner of property

Any third party not associated with your employer may be responsible for your injuries and can be sued for damages.

What Is Covered by Workers’ Comp?

Under New York workers’ compensation law, you can get all your medical bills covered. However, the system only covers a portion of your lost wages, called cash-only benefits. You can get 50% of your average weekly pay up to a certain amount.

If you are permanently or temporarily disabled from the injuries, you can also get partial or total disability payments. Disfigurement and loss of use damages are also available in certain circumstances.



Construction Workers Injured on an Exterior Scaffold

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Filing a workers’ comp claim in New York can be done online. First, you need to complete a form C-3 employee claim form. This allows you to establish an account with the Workers’ Compensation Board. You will need to include your contact information, employer details, and a description of what happened as well as your injuries.

Then, someone from the New York Workers’ Compensation Board will reach out to you to obtain further documentation about your specific losses.

Filing a Third-Party Claim

When you file a third-party injury claim, you typically file an insurance claim with the insurance company of the party who caused your damages. Their insurance company should cover 100% of your losses. However, if they deny your claim, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the third party.

Which Type of Claim Is Best for Your Case?

You may be confused about which type of claim is best for your case. In some cases, you can file both. If you were injured on the job and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, then you should always start there.

However, if someone else caused your injuries, you should also consider a third-party claim. A personal injury lawsuit will hold the third party liable and help you get the maximum compensation possible.

NY Workers’ Comp Resources

Your best resource after being injured on the job is the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. You will file your claim through them and they can answer all of your questions about what to do next.

Contact an Injury Lawyer Today

You should also consult with a personal injury lawyer who will help you determine if a third-party claim is right in your case. Call the experienced attorneys at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. at 212-490-5700 or use our online contact form to reach out.


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