You cannot sue your employer. Unless a third party was negligent your only remedy is your workers compensation case.
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Seek a workmen's compensation lawyer for lost wages and medical expenses. Have a personal Injury lawyer review option to sue a third party such as the maintainer of the vehicle if different than the employer.
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Your primary right is to Workers Compensation benefits which will pay your related medical bills and afford you some wage replacement in the short run and depending on whether or not you have a permanent injury a further award. If your injury arose out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle, as you imply, you may also be entitled to some additional money benefit as workers compensation pays 66.66% where as No fault pays 80% of your earnings. And if your injury was the result of an accident caused by another you may have a action against the other party.
You are best served by a local attorney knowledgeable in workers compensation and no fault law. I am to far away to assist you. Perhaps an NYC attorney will comment on your question and be able to assist you. IF not you could go to the New York Injured Workers Bar Association's Web site for a referral.
Please remember the answer to this question is in general and without knowledge to the specific facts of your case. You should not rely on this answer when making important life decisions and seek a legal opinion based on your particular facts and circumstances.
There are some very fine lawyers, who practice in New York, who are listed on Avvo. While you are making your decision as to which lawyer to hire, try and obtain as much information on the vehicle you were driving, and any fines on or violations of your employer. This will assist your new lawyer, so they can file the appropriate sanctions petitions, etc. Additionally, so your new lawyer can determine whether there's a 3rd party claim, if at all.
Hope this helps,
Michael Ian Rott, Esq., Managing Partner
HIDEN, ROTT & OERTLE, LLP
2635 Camino del Rio South, Suite 306
San Diego, California 92108
Office: 619.296.5884, ext. 14
San Diego - El Centro
Please be advised that the advice provided does not create any attorney/client relationship; that due to the various state laws that the information provided is a general overview of work comp law, which might not be applicable to you, based upon the laws of your state. We will not file anything on your behalf nor protect any statute of limitations which might arise and recommend that you IMMEDIATELY consult legal counsel for advice.
You are definitely entitled to worker's compensation, which will pay your loss wages up to a limit, and it will pay your medical bills as well. You should definitely retain a worker's compensation attorney for this purpose. Generally, an employee who is injured as a result of the employer or co-employee's negligence is limited to worker's compensation and cannot bring a lawsuit against them. However, if it can be established that the employer or co-employee recklessly disregarded the safety of the injured worker, or intentionally caused injury to the employee, then the limitations of worker's compensation would not apply. If you have already accepted worker's compensation benefits, then that may prevent you from arguing that you are not bound by the worker's compensation limitations. You indicated that your employer was reprimanded many times. By whom? You mentioned that there were three previous incidents. Were people injured in those incidents? You indicated that "it was requested that the vehicle be junked after a failed inspection". Who made such a request? Who did the inspection? If the answers to these questions are in your favor then you may be able to avoid the exclusive remedy of worker's compensation. I would also do an investigative search to determine the precise owner of the vehicle. You never know, it may be owned by an entity other than your employer, in which case you could sue that owner.