Brooklyn Workplace Injury Lawyer
Being injured at work can be a frustrating experience. You may rely on your paycheck to support yourself and your family, but facing a workplace injury may mean the paychecks will stop. If you are too injured to work, paying your medical bills may become difficult. Workers’ compensation may be available, but if the injuries you suffered were very serious or caused by extreme negligence, you may deserve more than workman’s comp is willing to pay.
That’s where a personal injury attorney comes in. The Brooklyn workplace injury lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, help workplace accident victims file lawsuits for their injuries. These lawsuits can help recover medical expenses, lost wages, and even damages for pain and suffering. The committed legal team at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, possess decades of legal experience, and we are prepared to help you seek the compensation you need for a workplace injury. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential case, contact Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP today at (718) 843-0300. You can also contact the firm by using our online submission form.
Filing a Work Injury Case in Brooklyn
Many workers may be familiar with workers’ compensation. Some employees are required by law to file their case with workers’ compensation before they can file a lawsuit. However, for some very severe injuries brought about by the intentional acts of your employer, or accidents involving some fields of employment, you may be able to file a lawsuit instead of relying on workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation may not adequately address your needs, and filing a personal injury lawsuit may be preferable in many situations. First, workers’ compensation may require you to use a doctor your boss or their workers’ compensation insurance company chooses. This means that the insurance company for your employer will be able to select the healthcare provider that will have a substantial role in determining your workers’ compensation benefits. If the doctor believes that you only suffered a mild injury, your claim could be denied, or you may only receive benefits for a brief period of time. You may be able to be examined by your own doctor. However, the insurance company may not cover a visit to a personal doctor.
Additionally, victims of a workplace injury are expected to strictly adhere to the treatment plan established by the doctor chosen by the insurance company. If a worker receives medical advice that suggests that other treatments may be beneficial, they could risk losing their benefits for straying from the treatment plant.
It is also important to note that your employer may seek loopholes to avoid providing benefits for a workplace injury. To qualify for workers’ compensation, the incident that caused the injury must be work-related. For example, an injury that occurred while an employee was operating a forklift would be considered work-related. Alternatively, an injury sustained while commuting to work would not be considered work-related. An employer may try to blur the lines between work-related accidents to argue that an employee is not entitled to benefits because the injury was not work-related.
Next, your employer’s insurance company may only compensate you for the procedures they have pre-approved. This may limit the care you receive and the quality of care. Workers’ compensation also typically pays only a fraction of your usual wages. Also, under workers’ compensation, there are usually no damages for pain and suffering.
In a lawsuit, any damages related to your injury may be compensated by the responsible parties. This means you may recover any medical expenses you face (using a doctor of your choice); your full lost wages, including projected growth from inflation or, raises; and any damages for pain and suffering the court allows. However, you must also prove that your employer was responsible for the injuries.
A personal injury lawsuit for workplace injuries may be able to compensate for broader damages, but you must also prove that the employer was at fault for your injuries. In a workers’ compensation case, you can recover for any on-the-job injuries. For full compensation in a lawsuit, you must be able to point to an error your employer made.
To learn more about filing a workplace injury lawsuit against your employer, you should continue reading and contact an experienced Brooklyn workplace injury attorney.
Proving Your Workplace Injury Case in Brooklyn, NY
If you were injured because your Brooklyn employer failed to provide you with a safe workspace to perform your job, you should consider filing a workplace injury lawsuit. Workplace injury cases often revolve around the negligent actions (or inactions) of an employer. Specifically, an injured worker must show how their employer acted negligently to be awarded compensation for their injuries. To prove your employer was responsible for your injuries, you must show four main factors of negligence during your case:
- Your employer (defendant) owed you (plaintiff) a duty of care
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards you (e.g., work machinery malfunctioned due to poor maintenance)
- You suffered an injury or other losses due to your employer’s breach
- You sustained an injury or other losses that are compensable by a court of law
The duty owed by an employer may involve a duty to provide certain materials or training. Cases like this usually revolve around:
- Failure to provide proper training
- Failure to train workers in a language they understand
- Unsafe work environments
- Failure to provide safety equipment
- Providing poor safety equipment
- Failure to provide adequate safety at your workplace and other claims
When suing your employer, it is important to realize that these errors must be the employer’s fault. If a fellow coworker caused your injuries, you may have to sue the coworker instead. However, if the injuries were caused by the co-worker’s inadequate training or because of poor safety precautions, the injury may still be your boss’ fault.
It is also important to remember that an injured worker cannot seek a workers’ compensation claim against their employer and then follow up with a personal injury lawsuit. As mentioned, the injured worker must decide which legal option to pursue based on their specific needs. However, it may be possible to seek a lawsuit against a negligent coworker while receiving workers’ compensation.
Damages for Workplace Injury Claims in Brooklyn
As mentioned, you may be able to claim damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in a lawsuit. Medical bills may be fully paid, even without seeking preapproval. This also includes the cost of things like rehabilitation, imaging, and physical therapy, not just surgeries or doctor visits. The damages for lost wages can cover any paychecks you miss while you are recovering, as well as ongoing wages you will miss if you are unable to return to work.
New York State has no caps or limitations on damages for pain and suffering. This means that a jury may award you as much as they see fit when calculating damages. For more severe injuries, these damages are often greater.
You may also be entitled to damages known as “punitive” or “exemplary” damages. If your employer violated serious safety regulations or was responsible for repeated or gross acts of negligence, you may be awarded additional damages to punish your employer.
Statute of Limitations for Workplace Injury Lawsuits in Brooklyn, NY
If you are considering filing a lawsuit after suffering a workplace injury in Brooklyn, you should be aware that your case is subject to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the length of time that a potential plaintiff has to file a lawsuit with the court. The amount of time provided to file a lawsuit will depend on the type of lawsuit the victim needs to file.
Workplace injury lawsuits would fall under the umbrella of a personal injury case. Under New York law, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in Brooklyn is three years from the date of the accident.
If a victim does not file their lawsuit within three years of the incident, they risk losing the right to pursue compensation for their injuries. Specifically, the worker’s employer could allege that the worker has violated the statute of limitations by filing their claim too late. As a result, the court would have to dismiss the claim with prejudice. This means that the victim would be unable to refile their case.
Missing the filing deadline for a lawsuit can be devastating. Without compensation for their injuries, a victim could become buried in medical bills and other debt. If you are concerned about the filing deadline for your potential workplace injury claim, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Waiting too long could make an attorney hesitant to accept your case on short notice.
Consult with Our Experienced Brooklyn Workplace Injury Attorneys to Discuss Your Potential Claim
If you or a family member was a victim of a workplace injury due to the negligence of an employer, you should consult with an experienced Brooklyn workplace injury attorney as soon as possible. At Sullivan & Galleshaw, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the aggressive and unique legal representation they deserve. We recognize how a workplace injury can substantially affect your life, and we are here for you in your time of need. You may have a number of legal options for how to recover compensation for your injuries, and our diligent personal injury lawyers can help guide you through those options. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact the Brooklyn workplace injury lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw today at (718) 843-0300. You can also contact the firm online.