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Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim Your Only Recourse for a Work-Related Injury?

New York City | Queens | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim Your Only Recourse for a Work-Related Injury?

You’ve been hurt on the job and it’s made it impossible for you to work, at least for the foreseeable future. You may know that you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, so that you’ll have income to meet your financial obligations, as well as coverage for your medical expenses. But are you limited to that workers’ compensation claim? Is there any way that you can file a lawsuit in court? The answer—it depends.

The workers’ compensation laws were established to provide benefit to workers and employers. The benefit to workers—you don’t have to wait the long periods of time that a civil lawsuit can take—if your claim is initially approved, you can start receiving benefits within a few weeks. For employers, the primary benefit is that the amount of benefits paid is limited under the workers’ compensation laws.

The workers’ compensation laws, however, are designed only to cover the potential liability of your employer. They don’t address the potential negligence of other parties. Accordingly, if there’s carelessness or wrongdoing by someone other than your employer or a co-employee, you can file a civil lawsuit for damages. For example, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident during the course of your employment, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver, provided that driver was not your employer or a co-employee. Other situations where you can file a separate claim include:

  • When you were injured by a dangerous and defective product
  • When you were injured because of the acts of someone on an adjoining work site

It’s also important to understand that you can file a workers’ compensation claim and a civil action at the same time. You cannot recover twice, however, for the same loss. If your employer pays your medical expenses, you cannot recover for them in a separate lawsuit.

workers compensation

Workers’ Compensation | An Overview

Experienced NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx | Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview workers comp page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

About The Author

Picture of Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ. is a reputed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Astoria, Queens, NY. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1989. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1990 and is admitted in the Federal District Courts for the Southern and the Eastern Districts of New York. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Queens County Bar Association.