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Is Workers’ Compensation the Only Source of Recovery for a Work Injury?

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

Under the workers’ compensation in New York, when you have been injured on the job, you have the right to pursue benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. In many instances, it will be your exclusive remedy—in other words, the only avenue you have to pursue compensation for your losses. But that’s not always the case. In fact, there are situations where you can simultaneously file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. Here’s how it works.

The workers’ compensation laws were enacted, in part, to ease the burdens on both employees and employers in the aftermath of a work-related injury. For workers, there’s no need to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of filing a lawsuit, and benefits can be received in a matter of weeks, provided your claim is approved in a timely manner. For employers, the workers’ compensation laws eliminate fears of exorbitant and inconsistent judgments from sympathetic juries.

The workers’ compensation laws, though, are designed only to provide benefits in the event of negligence by an employer or a co-worker. They do not absolve unrelated third parties of responsibility for negligence. Accordingly, if your work injury was caused, in whole or in part, by the carelessness of an unrelated third party, such as the manufacturer of a tool, machine or piece of equipment, or the driver of a vehicle, you have the right to pursue damages against that party in a personal injury lawsuit in court. Of course, you’ll have to go through the discovery process and may not see any damage award for months or years.

In addition, you won’t be able to recover twice for the same loss. For example, if your medical expenses are paid by workers’ compensation, you cannot recover for those same expenses in a civil suit.

Is Workers’ Compensation the Only Source of Recovery for a Work Injury?

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 page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

About The Author

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.

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