Littman & Babiarz, Attorneys at Law, are experienced workers compensation and personal injury lawyers serving Auburn, Syracuse, Ithaca and Elmira New York. In this article, they outline the differences between personal injury law and workers compensation law in The State of New York. There are key differences that affect how you file a claim and the types of benefits you may expect to receive.
When you become injured because of an intentional act or negligence of another party, you may file a personal injury claim. When deliberate acts or negligence cause you an injury in the workplace, you must file a claim for Workers Compensation benefits. According to the laws that govern labor, you cannot sue your employer or other employees for a personal injury claim.
The most significant difference between a personal injury claim and a workers compensation claim deals with fault; a personal injury case is based on fault and a workers compensation case is not. In order to recover damages from a personal injury, the other party must be negligent or have done something wrong. In workers compensation cases, no fault is assessed or considered for you to receive benefits.
Workers Compensation Claims
According to the New York Workers Compensation law, all medical expenses including therapy and medications that are necessary for your recovery are completely covered. Your case will be managed by the New York State Workers Compensation Board, which will demand multiple diagnostic tests and examinations to prove your inability to work and level of disablement. This will directly affect how much you receive from workers compensation for lost wages.
Workers compensation covers your lost wages based on a simple equation: 2/3 of your average weekly wage multiplied by your percentage of disability. (Example: $500/week x 100% disablement = $333.30 per week; or, $500/week x 50% disablement = $166.65).
You will likely be required to submit to periodic medical examinations by medical personnel contracted by your workers compensation insurance company. Since insurance companies are concerned with reducing loss, they will likely seek to mitigate your injuries and speed your recovery in their reports.
If your injury claims are disputed or denied, you will need the assistance of a workers compensation law firm in Ithaca, Syracuse, Auburn, and Elmira. Littman & Babiarz, Attorneys at Law, are well-versed in workers compensation law in New York and can help ensure you receive the benefits you rightly deserve for your injury and recovery.
Personal Injury Claims
In situations where you become injured outside the workplace, a personal injury claim can be filed against another party. Personal injury claims can recover damages for medical care, damage to or loss of property, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. The burden of proving the other party’s guilt or negligence is on the party filing the personal injury claim. Littman & Babiarz are personal injury lawyers in Auburn, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Elmira, New York, and can help you build a solid personal injury case.
Can Workers Compensation Claims and Personal Injury Claims Ever be Combined?
A workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim can both be pursued if a third party’s negligence is involved. The personal injury claim could be filed against the third party. For example, a professional truck driver employed by a trucking company is struck by another car in the company truck. The driver of the other vehicle was negligent and caused the accident and the truck driver was injured. In such a case, the truck driver could file a personal injury claim against the other driver as well as a workers compensation claim with his employer. The personal injury claim could cover benefits not offered by workers compensation, such as additional compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and out of pocket expenses.
The laws in New York State concerning personal injury cases and workers compensation cases can be complicated. The experienced attorneys of Littman & Babiarz can answer your questions and provide guidance concerning personal injury claims and workers compensation claims, and even determine if you are eligible to file both. Littman & Babiarz – Workers Compensation Lawyers in Auburn, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Elmira have been serving the citizens of Elmira, Ithaca, Auburn, Syracuse, and central New York for more than 30 years. Give us a call at 607-277-7527 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.