If you were injured while at work the law in New York is that you cannot sue your employer
or co-employee claiming that they caused your injury. When you are injured while you are at work the Workers’
Compensation Law applies. It is a New York State law. However, you may sue others, who are then called
“third-parties", who may be held to be legally responsible for causing your injury. For example, if you are
a delivery person who was making a delivery and you fell over a broken step, a box, a broken driveway, etc., you can
sue the homeowner or the business to whom you were making the delivery.
A “third-party" is someone other than your employer who may be held responsible for causing your injury. This may
be the owner of the building or the owner of the land or it may be the general contractor or a sub-contractor or the
seller, manufacturer or lessor of a machine or other device.
If you are hired for a job that is particularly susceptible to being injured, such as if you fell off of a ladder
or a scaffold while working at a construction site, under a specific section of the New York State Labor Law, §240,
you can sue not only the owner of the building but also the owner of the land. If you are working for a
sub-contractor on a construction job you may be able to sue the general contractor and/or a different sub-contractor
as well as the owner of the building or land.
For example if, as a construction worker, you are given a tool such as a drill, saw, grinder, or other piece of
equipment, which is missing a safety guard or is otherwise defective, the owner of the land and the general
contractor may be held responsible under §241(6) of the New York State Labor Law if you were injured while using the
It does not matter if you are a legal citizen of the United States or if you are an illegal immigrant. You still
have rights to obtain your Workers’ Compensation benefits and also the right to sue a third-party to obtain
compensation for your injuries.
It also does not matter if you were working in what is known as “off the books" and being paid in cash and did not
file your taxes-you still have the right to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries if you were
hurt while working. It doesn’t matter whether you were working on the books or off the books; you just have to prove
that you were working when you were injured.
What is important for you to know is that the law in New York provides special protections and the right to sue for
construction workers who are employed in dangerous work and are injured while on the job.
Aside from construction workers who have the special protection of New York’s Labor Law if you are hurt on the job
in any other type job that is not construction you may also be entitled to compensation. For example we represent a
worker who was injured while using a conveyor system on his job and we sued the conveyor company for his injuries
claiming that the conveyor was not safe and was dangerous; we have sued an elevator company for a worker who was
injured while on the job claiming that the elevator was unsafe as in one case it misleveled and in another that the
door did not close properly; or we have sued for defective and dangerous lifts, ramps and stairs on which our
clients were injured.
What you need to understand is that if you are hurt on the job, in addition to your rights to obtain your Workers’
Compensation benefits, if you believe your injury is the fault of a third-party, you also have a right to sue that
party for your past and future pain and suffering, your lost wages and loss of future earnings capacity as well as
for your past and future medical bills.
If you or a loved one were injured and are in need of legal assistance as a result of an injury suffered while at
work, then call Jaroslawicz & Jaros toll free in New York 800.269.2780, or submit an online
questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work
on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds.
In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations.
Please call to ensure that you do not waive your right to compensation. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.