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 M. 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.
Call Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. today at (845) 414-8482 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our workplace accident lawyer in Dutchess County.
How We Help Injured Workers
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, firefighter, 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.
Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
Understanding the common causes of workplace accidents is crucial for preventing them and holding responsible parties accountable.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: Slippery surfaces, uneven floors, or cluttered walkways can lead to slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. These incidents can result in severe injuries like fractures, sprains, and head injuries.
- Machinery Accidents: Improper use or maintenance of machinery may lead to accidents. Lack of training, faulty equipment, or inadequate safety measures can result in very severe injuries or fatalities.
- Falling Objects: In environments with a risk of falling objects, like construction sites or warehouses, proper safety measures must be in place. Failure to secure objects or inadequate safety protocols can lead to injuries.
- Electrical Accidents: Poorly maintained electrical systems or faulty equipment can result in electrical shocks or fires. Electrical accidents can cause severe burns, injuries, or even fatalities.
- Vehicle Accidents: In workplaces involving vehicles, such as construction sites or warehouses, accidents can occur due to collisions or unsafe driving practices. These incidents may lead to serious injuries for workers.
- Chemical Exposure: In industries involving hazardous materials, improper handling or storage of chemicals can result in exposure and long-term health issues. Employers must ensure proper safety measures are in place to prevent chemical accidents.
- Workplace Violence: Unfortunately, workplace violence is a reality for some employees. Employers must implement measures to prevent and address instances of violence in the workplace, ensuring the safety and well-being of their staff.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries: Jobs that require repetitive motions can result in long-term injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis. Employers should provide ergonomic solutions and regular breaks to minimize the risk of these injuries.
What Is Third-Party Liability?
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:
- Independent contractors
- Employees of a subcontractor
- A manufacturer of faulty industrial equipment
- Visitors to a worksite
- Random individuals
Examples of Third-Party Liability At a Workplace
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.
Third-Party Liability for Workplace Accidents
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:
- You are involved in a car accident while running errands for work or making deliveries
- You are working off-site and are injured because of a dangerous condition on the premises
- You are injured due to the use of a defective piece of equipment or machinery
In all of these situations, you may have a claim of negligence, premises liability, or strict product 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.
How You Can Proceed with a Third-Party Negligence Lawsuit
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.
Contact Our Dutchess County Workplace Accident Attorney Today
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 M. 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 that 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 (845) 414-8482 for advice and representation from a dedicated and experienced Dutchess County workplace accident injury attorney. Representing injured workers throughout New York State.
Not only does Peter M. Cordovano have a profound respect for the legal profession, he has earned an esteemed reputation for his tireless dedication to Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability clients.
Attorney Peter M. Cordovano has a solid grasp of the medical issues involved in his clients' cases and can effectively engage with medical providers and insurance company representatives.
Over the years, our firm has had the pleasure of helping more than 1,500 clients navigate complex Social Security Disability and Worker's Compensation cases.
Since 1987, Attorney Peter M. Cordovano has fought for distressed clients who need capable case management and calm reassurance.
"Most Excellent Lawyer"
I would like to thank you, for all you have done for me and my son. You are the kindest person and most excellent lawyer I have known in my life. You are our angel.- Maria I.