Question about my injuries from work. I worked for a company from 2010 until November of 2013. My job was working

Asked about 1 month ago - Patchogue, NY

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?

Additional information

Again I developed these injuries throughout the course of my employment over a 2-3 year time span. And like I said just over the course of the last 6 months my injuries have completed healed but I have a very unsightly bruised skin on my ankle and bottom of my heal of my ankle. As well I do not know why i developed a bad skin infection in the area of my ankle a few weeks ago. I think it possibly could be from injuries that I sustained over the course of my employment. What does someone think?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Arthur H. Forman


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I recommend you consult an attorney who handles personal injury and accident cases.

  2. Leonard Bernard Feld

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . 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.

    Good Luck

    Leonard Feld

    The foregoing is based on the little information provided; additional facts may change the comments given.
  3. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Since the cause of your injuries in the workplace exposure to chemicals you need to talk with a local worker’s comp. attorney ASAP.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  4. Andrew John Cates

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . 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.

  5. Joseph William Segraves


    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Caustic soda (a/k/a lye) is not an acid. It is a chemical base (highly caustic metallic base and alkali salt).

    Licensed to practice in the State of Georgia only. The statements provided herein are for general informational... more
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