According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,585 workers were killed on the job in 2013, which equates on average to 88 fatalities a week or over a dozen worker deaths every day. In most years, this number is even higher. As for nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace, this number exceeds three million. Most accidents are preventable, and many can be attributed to negligence or the failure to provide a safe work environment with adequate training, supervision, and safety gear and equipment. Highland attorney Peter Cordovano helps injured workers throughout the mid-Hudson Valley identify all possible sources of compensation for workplace accidents and injuries and recover the maximum compensation available for medical expenses, lost wages and other legal damages.
The law office of Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. helps injured workers in Orange, Dutchess and Ulster counties in all of the following areas:
Workers’ Compensation – If you were injured on the job, we can help you obtain reimbursement for a portion of your medical expenses and wage replacement while you are disabled from working.
Social Security Disability – If you are permanently disabled from working, we also help you through the challenging process of qualifying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits.
NYS Retirement Disability – If you are a police officer, fire fighter, or other public employee covered under NYSLRS (Tier 3PFRS or Tier 5 ERS), we can help you obtain Article 14 or Article 15 disability retirement benefits.
For purposes of workers’ compensation law, a third party is any individual who is not your employer, boss or co-worker. These persons might be:
Here is an example of how this might work. On a construction site, you work for the general contractor assembling the wooden frame of a home. The general contractor has hired a plumbing subcontractor who has several employees on site. One of the plumbers drops a large pipe from a height, striking you on the back. You have no co-worker relationship with that plumber, so you are not prohibited from suing by workers’ comp.
In another scenario, you are a delivery driver for a company, making your rounds. A car runs a light and broadsides your van. You are entitled to workers’ compensation because your injuries are work related, but you can also sue the negligent driver of the car that hit you.
Finally, let’s say you work on a factory floor as a machinist. While you are working at your station, a co-worker using his machine properly strikes you and injures you. You cannot sue your co-worker, but you may be able to sue the industrial architect who designed the factory floor and put the workstations too close together to be reasonably safe.
Contrary to popular belief, Workers’ Compensation is not necessarily your only recourse when you have been injured on the job. Although you cannot sue your employer, if some other party unrelated to the business is responsible for causing the accident, then you may have a claim against that third party in addition to your Workers’ Compensation claim (subject to offset). Think about the following ways you could be injured on the job:
In all of these situations, you may have a claim of negligence, premises liability or strict products liability against the other driver, property owner or product manufacturer. That party could be liable to you for all of your present and future medical expenses, present and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages allowed by law. Damages recoverable in a civil lawsuit can be much higher than you would typically receive from Workers’ Compensation.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, you always want to file for workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible to get medical care and wage replacement. However, if the facts suggest you could sue for negligence, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney who handles workplace injuries.
Your attorney can then investigate the incident to determine if there are potential third-party defendants. If the facts support a lawsuit, your attorney can file the action and pursue full damages, including medical costs, your total lost pay, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
If your third-party lawsuit is successful, you will recover more than you could have through workers’ compensation. But you cannot recover twice for one accident, so you will have to repay the insurance company for your medical treatment and wage replacement benefits.
When you are injured on the job, it can be difficult to know which is the best or most appropriate avenue to pursue your claim for compensation, and choosing the wrong path can result in delays or even spell disaster for your ability to recover. There may even be more than one route toward compensation that should be pursued at the same time. Attorney Peter Cordovano helps injured workers every day. He knows the different roads to compensation and can help you navigate the many different administrative or judicial systems which may apply in your case. If you were injured in a workplace accident in the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York state, call on Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. for advice and representation from a dedicated and experienced workplace accident injury lawyer.