Workers’ compensation insurance covers injuries that occur in the workplace, regardless of fault. This means injured workers can recover benefits under workers’ comp, regardless of who caused the injury – the injured employee, the employer or even a coworker. Workers’ compensation also protects the employer from lawsuits, so if another employee caused your injury, the employer is likely not liable beyond providing workers’ compensation benefits.

Are there exceptions when workers’ comp may not be available?

Limited circumstances – like when the injured worker is intoxicated or when the injured worker injures himself on purpose. Also, you are entitled to benefits while leaving your place of work, but at some point once you are done work you may no longer be entitled to benefits if injured until you return to work.

Discuss the specifics with a lawyer because the circumstances of the accident might affect eligibility to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

What if another party is at fault for my injuries?

As noted, accidents related to the injured worker’s, employer’s or co-worker’s negligence may be covered by workers’ compensation. But if a third party causes the injuries, the worker may be entitled to file a third-party tort claim against the negligent party in addition to recovering workers’ compensation.

Workers’ comp is available as long as the injury occurred during the scope of employment, and none of the above exceptions are present. So workers may pursue workers’ comp as well as a third-party liability claim. However, the workers’ compensation insurer that pays the benefits may recover its costs from the third-party liability settlement or judgment through a lien.

What should I do if I think I have a claim?

Employees are required to report an injury to their employer as soon as possible and in writing within 30 days of the accident. Failure to do so may prevent the worker from recovering benefits. If related to an occupational disease, notification must take place within two years of the disablement or within two years of the point the employee should have known the disease was related to the workplace.

Talk to an attorney about the options available to you and how to ensure you receive the benefits to which you’re entitled. The law firm Markhoff & Mittman is committed to protecting injured workers’ rights in the New York City area. Contact our office at 866-205-2415 or 866-205-2415 to schedule your consultation. You also can contact us online to set up your appointment.