Working with strong chemicals such as nitrogen, caustic soda (acid) and other forms of chemicals. I did waste water management. We were required , and I always wore the personal protective equipment required ( gloves, hard hat, water boots, and plastic body suit) I developed a bad rash on my inner ankle and body of the heal sometime in 2011, from the chemicals getting on my suit and leaking into my boots and such on an everyday basis. I had problems with my ankle and leg getting infected in 2012 and 2013 in which I saw a company doctor and dermotologist in which I got treatment. The infection never really went away but continued to work. After I was laid off in 2013 my ankle and foot healed ..but it left bad scaring on my ankle and foot that is not going away. Can I sue my employer?
Dear Madam or Sir in Patchogue:
Sorry about the answers from out of state attorneys.
You cannot sue your employer.
However, although you evidently did not file a Workers' Compensation claim, as you should have, you may still be able to evade the Statute of Limitations.
Your time to file a claim runs from the date a doctor FIRST tells you that your leg infections, etc. were caused by exposure to workplace chemicals, etc. So, see a doctor who accepts workers' compensation matters and ask him to fill out a C-4 form that states your 1) history of exposure at work, 2) his diagnosis, 3) that the diagnosis is CAUSALLY RELATED to that exposure and 4) whether you were unable to work for a period of time, causally related to the exposure or 5) if there is a permanent loss of function in the foot or leg and in what is the Schedule Loss in percentages.
You do not get compensated for a disfigurement on the foot or leg, but only for loss of function.
If there is no permanent loss of function, yiou would at least get your medical bills paid.
I'm not a NY attorney, however you can not sue your employer for a work related injury. Sometimes you can sue a third party, for instance a customer of your employer or a supplier of equipment or chemicals. You do need to consult with a NY workers compensation attorney, preferably one who also handles personal injury and products liability.
If you still work for this company you should report your injury to your employer immediately and seek medical care through their workers compensation carrier. In my state the statute of limitations for worker's compensation is 1 year, but if you are suffering a flair up you may be able to protect your rights by reporting the injury now.
I am adding Workers Compensation to the Practice Areas of this question.